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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.

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Linksys EA8500 AC2600 Dual-Band Smart WI-FI Wireless Router
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs FANTASTIC radio! Finally 5.8GHz range just as good as 2.4GHz! 07/09/2015

This review is from: Linksys EA8500 AC2600 Dual-Band Smart WI-FI Wireless Router

Pros: My oh my, you can really tell where they spent the money in this access point -- it's alllllll in the radio! Four beefy antennas and a great radio chipset finally lets 5.8GHz get the range that I've long enjoyed with 2.4GHz.

Whenever I get a new access point, I test in three spots... right next to it, out on the street in front of my house, and in my garage. My garage is a ways away, and it's just too far (I have a separate AP out there normally). The EA8500 was no miracle worker there, neither 2.4GHz nor 5.8GHz could reliably connect. It'd be seen, but be weak in the -80 to -90dB range; far too weak to be useable.

But everywhere else WOW!! I have my own speed test server on my local LAN, and compared to my old 802.11n router (linksys e3000) it completely blew it away on both 2.4 and 5.8GHz. Funny thing is that the speed difference got larger as the distance from the access points increased! (I kept them both up on different frequencies and flip-flopped between the two during testing.) Right next to the APs, for 2.4GHz the ea8500 easily bested the e3000; 115Mbps upload average for 1GB of data, 98Mbps down average. At 5.8GHz the ea8500 walked away with it; 145Mbps up and 100Mbps down (vs 115Mbps up and 98Mbps down for the e3k).

[All numbers are of observed throughput through the network.]

Out on the patio and in the car are where the ea8500 really shined. On the patio at 2.4GHz, e8500 clocked in 62Mbit down 40Mbit up vs 30Mbit down 7Mbit up for the e3k. In 5.8GHz was even better -- ea8500 was at 93Mbit down 39Mbit up vs e3k at 59Mbit down and 36Mbit up.

Finally out on the street in front of my house, neither AP could reliably complete and speed tests at 2.4GHz. (darn neighbors.) But at 5.8GHz I was able to pull 140Mbit down and 96Mbit up, vs. the e3k's 20Mbit down and 12.6Mbit up.

Phenomenal performance across the board! Finally an AP where 5.8GHz is not only just as good as 2.4GHz as far as range, but is flat out better than 2.4GHz!

Cons: The ea8500 is one of those home routers that has a lot of checkboxes for features, but the devil is really in the details. In short, if you're a power user that's used to full software then this isn't going to be appealing to you.

For example, let's take VLANing. VLANing is functionally broken in this device. Normally you turn on VLAning to split your network into multiple virtual networks. That's not how VLANing works on the ea8500. In short, if you turn on VLANing it takes one or two *physical* ports, adds VLAN tags, then shoots those ports' data out the internet port. It's solely intended if you have a specific ISP in singapore that gives you a physical VOIP box to attach to your home router. Any other use is not supported and is not going to work.

The documentation for the EA8500 blows, and blows HARD. They include a printed leaflet quick start guide that's one page. On the CD is an electronic copy of what most people would consider the real quick start guide -- it's ten pages and written to the level of a third grader.

Which is such a shame, because this router has a great feature, wireless bridging, that's mentioned NOWHERE in the manual. So since linksys hasn't bothered to document it *at all*, here I will:

Let's say you want to steal your neighbor's or hotel's wireless signal, but you have regular PCs without wireless cards. You can take one of the EA8500's radios (2.4G or 5.8G) and connect it to your neighbor's wireless radio and use it as its internet uplink. Then the other radio you're free to use as normal, and all your wired devices will also have their data sent out over the wireless uplink. Slick and elegant! WHY IS THERE NO DOCUMENTATION FOR THIS FEATURE? Lots of features are similarly non-documented (*cough*VLAN*cough*).

To change from local configuration to cloud configuration you have to reset the entire router. You can't simply just re-run the wizard.

If you don't have the internet connection plugged in (if you're just using it as an access point), the linksys logo flashes CONTINUOUSLY, even if you have turned off the access lights! Electrical tape time!

No QoS. Well, it has "media prioritization" that's trying to masquerade as QoS, but it's so ham fisted and non-granular it might as well not exist. Here's what you do: COMPUTER A GO FAST! Seriously, that's the only option you have. Drag a computer into the "go fast" pile. Or drag a protocol into the GO FAST pile. You can't prioritize which protocols or computers get to go fast. Worse, you can't de-prioritize things. Everything is either GO FAST or GO NORMAL. You can't even tell the router how fast your upstream connection is! So yeah, it's pretty much a lazy and useless half hearted implementation of QoS.

Content blocking is ONLY available via an app for IOS. WHAT!?? SERIOUSLY??? You can do site blocking via DNS, but that's really ineffective. No openDNS content blocking either, no idea where they're getting their content

Other Thoughts: Speed test requires *internet explorer* and flash 8. No, seriously, that's what it says. Doesn't work at all in firefox 39, just complains about not seeing internet explorer. I feel so 2004 writing that, but it really does that. (Even though I have a fully up to date flash install!)

No ability to set/verify wireless encryption type. It's WPA or WPA2, but is it TKIP, AES CCMP, or TKIP+AES? Some of us aren't stupid and would like to know. (It's CCMP according to my wireless inspector, which is great!)

No mention that it's an EA8500 on the web page. Really? Makes it tough to find updated firmware if you don't remind me what device it is!

-----

But all of that gets trumped by the great radio. I'm not going to use this as my home firewall, but just as one mother of a central access point. And in that role, it's superlative. If you just need bare bones basic features then you could make it your primary house router, but it really needs a lot more features to be competitive at this price point.

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Corsair Force LS CSSD-F240GBLSB 2.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Good midrange SSD. It's not the fastest SSD out there, but you're not going to be paying screaming eagle prices for one of these, either. It's also not the slowest SSD out there, and of course you're not going to be paying dirt eagle prices. Its speed is right about where you'd expect -- speedy but not blisteringly fast.

Obviously since it's an SSD, it's silent when running. Doesn't run very warm either; typically sits right around room temperature.

SATA 3 interface, though it falls back to SATA 2 automatically. (Didn't bother with SATA 1.)

Cons: No mounting hardware included at all -- hope you have some screws handy!

Other Thoughts: Warranty support from Corsair is pretty good. They're reasonably easy to get a hold of, and their swap out policy is pretty good. Also this drive carries a 3 year warranty unlike some others (*cough*OCZ*cough*) so you won't feel abandoned after the sale.

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Vincent n.'s Profile

Display Name: Vincent n.

Date Joined: 09/27/06

  • Reviews: 37
  • Helpfulness: 21
  • First Review: 10/17/06
  • Last Review: 08/21/15
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