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TP-LINK TL-PA8010P KIT HomePlug AV2 MIMO AV1200 Gigabit Pass-through Powerline Starter Kit, up to 1200Mbps
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Rock solid, but you're not getting 1.2Gbps or anywhere close. 11/13/2015

This review is from: TP-LINK TL-PA8010P KIT HomePlug AV2 MIMO AV1200 Gigabit Pass-through Powerline Starter Kit, up to 1200Mbps

Pros: Very easy to use, just plug them in and they'll connect to each other; literally zero user set-up required if you want.

Very reliable; I've had these bridging to my detached garage about a hundred feet away. In the garage I have three security cameras streaming 24x7x365, and the DVR that records them automatically fires an event if even a single frame drops. After three weeks of continuous testing, not even so much as a single dropped frame.

If configured correctly, these will play very nicely with other powerline adapters (PLAs). I've had a pair of 500Mbps zyxel PLAs (these are 600Mbps, by way of comparison) going to my garage for a few years now, and they've been similarly fantastically reliable. So the first thing I did was pair one of the TPLink adapters to my existing PLA network (so it was an A-B-C network). The PLA paired no problem. Without taking down the garage cameras I then shunted all sorts of files through the powerline network, averaging about 200Mbps throughput. (Throughput on a PLA network is shared among all devices, so this was within reasonable expectations.) So clearly the TPLinks and the Zyxels were happy co-existing on the same PLA network. (You cannot have two or more PLA networks on your electricity lines at the same time or throughput will go into the trash -- pro tip!!!) I then added the second TPLink to my existing PLA network, and tested it similarly. As a last step, I replaced the original zyxel 500Mbps PLAs with the 600Mbps TPLink PLAs, and ran them exclusively for a few weeks. Not even one single frame dropped, and those cameras are pushing about 4Mbps 24x7x365!

Cons: These are a bit tricky to get to connect to other powerline adapters (PLAs). TPLink includes a quickstart flyer, but it's not really all that clear what sequence of buttons you need to hit on the device to get it to join the network. Worse this sequence of buttons doesn't seem to be standardized across PLAs. I eventually stumbled upon the sequence (it wasn't *that* hard) but it didn't seem to match what was on the quick start guide.

No network activity lights. Unlike the Zyxels which would show when data were flowing through them by blinking the network light, the TPLinks are content to show absolutely nothing. They will show that a PLA network exists, but that's it; you have no idea if there is any data actually flowing. After coming from the Zyxels this is a significant step backwards; I could tell with a glance at the Zyxels not only are my cameras connected but actually transmitting data. With the TPLink all I know is that there is power in my garage and the link is up, I have no idea if there is any data actually flowing.

Big, and bulky. I don't know why, but there seems to be a universal template for first generation PLAs and it always seems to cover the adjacent plug. (Here my Zyxel and TPLink adapters are equally abhorrent.) It somewhat mitigates by having an electricity pass through socket, but it's a case of robbing peter to pay paul; you gain one socket but lose access to another. Much better would be to make the bezel on the unit a lot smaller so that in addition to the pass-through socket you could also use the adjacent socket!

No PoE. This isn't really a knock as a big wishlist item; wouldn't it be great if this unit supported PoE, so that if you had an access point all you needed to do was plug in the data cable and go? Sadly, no. (Well you still can with a power injector, but uuuuuggggllllyyyy!)

Speed? C'mon. All PLA manufacturers are guilty as sin about this, and TPLink is no exception. These are 600Mbps units; the "1.2Gbps" comes from counting the upstream and downstream in simultaneous use. No other network technology rates their network speed this way, so it's just dishonest. With that said, these 600Mbps units were slotted directly in place of where some 500Mbps units have lived happily for a few years. Was there a speed improvement? Ehhh, maybe. It's hard to tell; the software says yes but it's very hard to measure that accurately over a PLA network.

The software kind of stinks. It works *okay*, but is finnicky. The Zyxel software is much better. With TPLink's software, if you're not DIRECTLY connected to a PLA adapter it refuses to do anything. With Zyxel's software, as long as you're on the same layer 2 segment as a PLA device then it can talk to it and configure it. Much better design, and there's absolutely no good reason for TPLink's limitation. It prevents you from checking on your PLA network's health from anywhere except being directly attached to one of the PLA adapters dir

Other Thoughts: While you can plug these into any electric outlets in your house and they'll work, you'll get much better performance out of them if you do a little detective work on your electricity beforehand. (Or ask a very knowledgeable electric-minded friend!) PLAs dirty little secret is that they work great *as long as* all of your PLAs are on the same electric phase. Typically houses are wired with two phases, A and B. If both your PLAs are on phase A, great! If both your PLAs are on phase B, great! If one PLA is on phase A and one is on phase B, PLAs are going to have a hard go of it. They'll still *work*; you'll still get a connection it's just not going to be a great connection. The problem is that the signal from one PLA has to go all the way out to your electric meter, go through your electric meter, then back into your house on the other phase to the other PLA. That adds a lot of points of failure for the PLA network, and will considerably degrade its speed, latency, and reliability. You'll often pull sub-50Mbps if your PLAs are on different phases when if they're on the same phase you'll get between 200 and 600 Mbps.

(Please note that when I'm talking about phases, I'm not talking about circuit breakers. If you're looking at your electric panel, every other breaker from top to bottom is on an alternating phase. So row one's breakers are phase A, row two is phase B, row three is phase A, row four is phase B, etc.etc.etc. That's the quick and easy way to tell which circuit is on which phase.)

Latency on these units is great. When both PLAs are on the same phase I regularly get between 2 and 4 ms when pinging devices over the PLA. When the PLAs are on different phases, not only does the latency increase dramatically (into the 100ms range), but throughput goes way WAY down. This is to be expected; there's really only so much a PLA can do. But it's something to be aware of when planning out your PLA.

Overall these are just as reliable as the 500Mbps Zyxels that I replaced. I really wish they showed actual activity with their network indicators like the Zyxel units, but otherwise they're fine units.

AMD Radeon SSD Radeon R7 2.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs A+, Can't find anythng to complain about 09/18/2015

This review is from: AMD Radeon SSD Radeon R7 2.5" 480GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) RADEON-R7SSD-480G

Pros: Ahhh, OCZ. Wait, I mean AMD. Wait, I mean OCZ by AMD. Wait, I mean OCZ-Toshiba by AMD. Confused yet?

Whatever its name is, you either love or hate OCZ. Or possibly love and hate OCZ. Whatever, Toshiba are the ones running things these days, and its for the better.

But what is there really to say about SSDs at this point? Unless you're really going crazy and buying big money drives, you just buy them on capacity and reliability. Well after a month haven't had nary a hiccup with this drive. So that's good. Performance is right on par with every other SSD I've shuttled through my machine. (And let's be honest, unless you're in the big money category they all feel "fast".)

So it really comes down the incidentals. This one comes with a key for Acronis True Image HD cloning software, so you can shuffle your existing partition to the SSD without reinstallation -- good! It comes with a 2.5" to 3.5" mounting bracket -- good! It comes with screws -- good! And it comes with a 4 year warranty, which is about 5 years longer than the old OCZ used to warranty their drives (hyuck hyuck hyuck)!

Cons: Can't really think of any cons other than this thing isn't 4TB in size. It's an SSD, it's going to blow away any rotating platter drive. But it's not an enterprise SSD, so there's obviously still room for performance improvement. But that's really splitting hairs really finely; I wouldn't hesitate to purchase this drive.

LG 29UM67P Black 29
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Very nice quality monitor for the price! First off it's an IPS panel, and the difference between IPS and TN is really beyond night and day. Extremely wide viewing angles are standard fare for IPS, and this monitor is no disappointment; both vertical and horizontal viewing angles are great on this monitor. Color fidelity across the entire panel is pretty uniform; if you take a window and move it across the screen the colors stay very true across the entire width.

Low power usage, yes! The power brick that is the power supply only puts out 1.4A at 19V which works out to 50W. Not bad for a 29" monitor! (Far better than my old Dell which consumed almost 300W!)

VESA standard 100x100 mounting points! Standard vesa mounts mean that ditching the built in stand for something more substantial is no problem whatsoever.

Love it or hate it control scheme. The OSD on this monitor is controlled by a joystick with center detent. Personally I really dislike this control scheme; having to remember that towards the wall is up, towards you is down, and center is "OK" is really unintuitive.

Decent amount of ports; 2 HDMI, one DVI, one DisplayPort. Be aware that Freesync is available ONLY via the DisplayPort port, and ONLY if it's a native DisplayPort connection straight to the video card. In other words, you can't use an HDMI to DisplayPort dongle to get Freesync. It's DisplayPort or no Freesync.

Also be careful with your card; some AMD cards support Freesync but only for video playback, not for games. For example, the R9 280 does not support freesync for games, which renders it pretty much useless. Luckily I have an R9 285, which supports freesync for everything. Point is make sure your card is fully Freesync capable, don't assume that it is even if it's a recent card!

Cons: Not all games are compatible with the wide aspect ratio. For example Rayman Legends is unplayable on this monitor; the menus extend far offscreen. Worse, when you're playing the game applies the borders for a 16x10 display, so there's a black border 3/4ths of the way to the right of the screen, then the game continues past it all the way to the edge of the screen.

Ports face straight out the back rather than down. This presents a problem if you're using a close wall mount and have stiff cables.

Color reproduction is pretty good but not perfect out of the box. I have a colorvision colorimiter, so I was able to measure the difference between the R, G, and B channels at 0.28 dab right out of the box. That's acceptable but not perfect (over 0.5dab is unacceptable for photography work) ; with careful calibration and tweaking of the R, G, and B gain sliders I was able to get it down to 0.12 dab. Much better, but also shows that the factory calibration is no substitute for end user calibration with a colorimeter.

However, there's a slight red tint in the mid-to high white band that remains even after calibration. It's easy enough to ignore if this is your only monitor, but if you have it side by side with another monitor and move windows between them it becomes obvious.

The built in stand has almost no options; tilt is the only one. It does have two height settings which helps a little bit, but it's not dynamically adjustable; you have to disassemble the stand to select the other height. So chances are you're going to need to want to buy a more adjustable monitor stand if you're using this monitor as your primary monitor.

Other Thoughts: Freesync! This monitor supports Freesync, and while it sounds like a free lunch, the results really depend on which exact game you're running.

For Just Cause 2, freesync allowed me to acieve a 20-30% average fps improvement across the board in all three benchmarks. It also seemed to slow down the micro-stutters the game sometimes has.

With Hitman absolution, freesync provided no benefit whatsoever. Vsync vs. freesync turned in nearly identical numbers, which I was a bit surprised at.

With Dirt Rally, freesync really shined. On regular settings freesync allowed nearly a 100% speed improvement of average fps! With ultra settings freesync still turned in a not shabby 10% average fps boost.

But the dirt rally numbers also kind of illuminated freesync's dirty secret, which is that freesync doesn't help your lowest frame rate; it just extends your maximum frame rate to bring up the average. To wit, under reasonable settings my minimum frame rate was 52.26 with vsync on, and 52.41 with freesync on. But the maximum frame rate with vsync on was 61, and with freesync on was 76.3 . I guess that matters if you're in a fps, but the point is that the low end is still going to be right where it was before freesync in almost all games, and that's where you usually need the most help.

I would absolutely buy this monitor if I were looking for a gaming monitor. While freesync might not be a panacea, it has enough of an effect that I would definitely put it on my list of features to have in a monitor if I were upgrading. I wouldn't junk a perfectly good monitor if it didn't have freesync; it's not that much of a game changer that it renders what you have obsolete. But it's worth going for if you're otherwise in the market.


Vincent n.'s Profile

Display Name: Vincent n.

Date Joined: 09/27/06

  • Reviews: 39
  • Helpfulness: 24
  • First Review: 10/17/06
  • Last Review: 11/13/15
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