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This review is from: SiliconDust Video Device HDHR4-2US
Pros: Upgraded Tuner
Other Thoughts: I've been using Silicondust tuners on my network since the first HDHR-US came out around 5 years ago. I've never had a problem with them, and my most recent set up was 3 HDHR3-US units with recording duties split between 2 different PCs running Windows 8.1 Pro with Windows Media Center. I bought the HDHR4 for its DNLA capabilities so I could stream wirelessly to my Dell Venue 8 Pro (which works great once you install the correct mpeg codecs since they are missing from Win 8.1 unless you have upgraded to Pro and installed the Windows Media Center feature pack, which won't work with only 32MB of storage). The other thing I noticed is the tuners are a lot more sensitive in the HDHR4 than in the HDHR3. OTA channels that I could barely pick up with the HDHR3 come in a lot stronger on the HDHR4. At the same time, I don't perceive any quality difference on the stronger signals between the older and newer model. I will probably buy another HDHR4, and keep one of the HDHR3s so in the end I'll have 2 HDHR4s and 1 HDHR3. Overall, a good upgrade if you can use the DNLA functionality and could use the upgraded tuners to tune in weak signals.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Large Capacity, 2.5" Form Factor, Quiet, Low Power, Low Heat
Cons: Pricey compared to a 3.5" drive with the same or better performance
Other Thoughts: I have never been particularly loyal to a certain brand of disk drives. For a while I was buying nothing but IBM Deskstars until they started suffering from the famous “click of death” (Google it). I moved on to Seagate, Hitachi, Seagate, and eventually Western Digital. At this moment (subject to change) I have five 1TB WD-10xxx drives running in various PCs around the house. None of them have given me any trouble. One of them is in the PC that I use exclusively as an HTPC running Windows 8.1 with Windows Media Center.
My HTPC consists of an Intel DH67GD, i5-2400 processor, 16 GB of memory, and Nvidia GT640 video card. OTA tuning is handled by two SiliconDust HDHR3-US tuners over a gigabit network. Storage is handled by an Intel 120GB 330 Series SSD functioning as the system drive and a Western Digital WD10EURX for storing the video and audio files. Given that the Western Digital WD10EURX is also designed for video storage, I thought it would be interesting to see how the WD10JUCT compares in performance to its bigger brother, the WD10EURX.
First thing I did was run some quick benchmarks on the WD10EURX using Parkdale. With nothing running in the background it scored a sequential write speed of 113 Mbytes/sec and a sequential read speed of 115 Mbytes/sec. I then started an HD video in Windows Media Center while playing a HD video in MPC at the same time. The scores dropped to sequential write speed of 104 Mbytes/sec and a sequential read speed of 111 Mbytes/sec.
After copying around 500 GB of video files from the WD10EURX to the WD10JUCT, I removed the WD-10EURX and replaced it with the WD10JUCT. With nothing running in the background it scored a sequential write speed of 90 Mbytes/sec and a sequential read speed of 92 Mbytes/sec. I then started the same HD video in Windows Media Center while playing the same HD video in MPC at the same time. The scores dropped to sequential write speed of 83 Mbytes/sec and a sequential read speed of 89 Mbytes/sec.
I won’t bore you with specs, but while it is no big surprise that the WD10EURX outperforms the WD10JUCT, more importantly, the quality of the video playback was identical between the two drives. I used the WD10JUCT for several days and did not perceive any difference in performance or quality. I also noticed that the WD10JUCT is very quiet, and doesn’t throw off a lot of heat. I can’t speak to the reliability of the drive, but as I mentioned before Western Digital drives have been very reliable for me, and I expect this drive to be no different.
To summarize, the WD10JUCT seems to be an excellent choice if you are building an HTPC and need a 2.5” internal hard drive. Otherwise, if you have space for a 3.5” drive, save some money and buy something like a WD10EURX, or use spend the same amount of money and buy a larger capacity 3.5” drive like the 2TB WD20EURX.
Pros: Quiet. PWM capable.
Cons: Deeper than the average 120mm case fan - Measure before you buy it!
Other Thoughts: I bought this fan due to it's PWM capabilities. I was planning on mounting in a case as an input fan (front of the case blowing in), with an Arctic Cooling 92mm PWM fan acting as an output fan (back of the case blowing out). The one thing I didn't do is consider the depth available for the input fan, and it turns out this fan is a little deeper than most, and would not fit in my case without the front grill jammed against the hard drive mounting rails. My bad for not measuring. However, I was able to use it in another case, and it works great. So you need to keep two things in mind when buying this fan. First, it is only meant to be an input fan, there is no way to mount it as an outlet fan. I already knew this, so no problem. Second, measure how much depth you have before purchasing this fan. If this F12 Pro fan is too deep, Arctic Cooling makes a standard mount 120mm fan, the model F12 PWM for around the same cost, which will work as an input or output fan.READ FULL REVIEW