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Pros: - Incredibly solid build quality.
- Down right sexy with the LED lights and acrylic spreader.
- Uses Hynix chips, reliable.
- Can support overclocking and tighter timings beyond its specified ratings. Rather stable as well.
Here are some stable timings I was able to achieve with different data rates.
Data Rate: DDR4-3000
Data Rate: DDR4-2400
Data Rate: DDR4-2133
Cons: - Pricy. A similar set from Corsair or even G.Skill is a lot cheaper.
- Heat spreaders are a little tall. I doubt anyone will have problems with the height of these sticks of RAM, but something to keep in mind.
- Base timings are on the high side in comparison to other sticks.
Other Thoughts: Got reddot design award for 2015. Essencore is a new name in the RAM department, an Hong Kong company, but the sticks were made in Korea.
Fundamentally, I commend Essencore for being new and entering this space. These sticks aren't bad either, but they are fairly overpriced. They do overclock well, but so do the G.Skill or Corsair sticks.
I am not sure DDR4 is ready for primetime just yet as it requires a chipset not many consumers have yet.
Pros: OCZ has put great effort into improving their SSDs. PFM+ is definitely a plus and a welcomed addition considering that a lot of their previous drives failed due to power loss. PFM+ aims to prevent a bricked drive. I did force a power reset while downloading Windows updates to the drive and it booted back up with no problems.
This drive boasts a 50GB/day 5 year endurance rating, but honestly, under normal work conditions of even a more enthusiast type of workload, I don't think anyone would ever hit that limit in a 5 year period, especially if you go for a smaller drive capacity.
The Vector 180 is definitely faster than my old Crucial M4 and my Samsung 830. Windows 7 boots in a snap, I don't even see the Windows 7 logo finish loading before I am presented with the login screen.
Some quick benchmarks...
Sequential Read: 463.8 MB/s
Sequential Write: 430.5 MB/s
512K Read: 401.8 MB/s
512K Write: 423.7 MB/s
4K Read: 31.02 MB/s
4K Write: 136.4 MB/s
This SSD uses the Toshiba Advanced 19nm Toggle 2.0 MLC. I am still a big fan of MLC over TLC NAND. Glad to see that OCZ didn't cheap out in this department like the Samsung 840 EVOs.
It is still using the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller. This controller is tried and tested in terms of reliability. iirc, the failure rates are well below 1%. OCZ has definitely stepped up their game in this department, glad to see them sticking with something that is reliable even if it isn't the highest class in terms of performance.
A 5-year warranty! Not bad, considering that 5 years from now, this kind of tech will be completely outdated.
Came with a 3.5" SSD adapter.
Cons: PFM+ is great but it does have a minor issue. Inherent to the design of the drive, the drive will flush its buffer to prevent metadata corruption. The drive will drop in I/O for a few seconds to flush the buffer. OCZ has already spoken up about this saying:
"What is being observed is a characteristic of the design of the drive itself and is a result of the firmware performing updates to its metadata mapping table and flushing the entire table out of DRAM and onto the NAND flash, during which I/O throughput is impacted for very brief periods. Our metadata management is done on a frequent basis to prevent failure modes related to bricked drives as a result of metadata corruption, which can potentially happen on other non PFM+ enabled SSDs as a result of unexpected power loss."
This isn't a terrible con, as there was no real observable performance degradation in real world use. I even tried to hammer the drive by copying large movies and I couldn't see it suffer. The drive is already snappy as it is, but something to keep in mind and unfortunate that it does have this minor issue. Other high end SSDs from competitors don't exhibit this behavior from my knowledge.
Other Thoughts: This SSD still gets a 5/5 from me despite the minor con. SSDs are so fast nowadays that minor speed differences are barely noticeable in normal usage. I prefer something that is reliable and durable. This drive has performed admirably under my use and even through a forced power loss. Really glad to see OCZ stepping up their game.
I used CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3 for benchmark testing. Only ran one test though.
Testing rig was an H77M-ITX with a Core i5 3450 and 8GB Corsair 1600 RAM. Running Windows 7 Ultimate x64.
No additional firmware needed to be upgraded upon use. The latest firmware already comes on all drives. At least that is what the OCZ website says.
Pros: - Allows you to skip initial set and configure router manually.
- Relatively simple UI and easy to setup basic functions on router.
- Has Guest Access for 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. Max of 50 guests allowed.
- Parental Controls allow you to restrict access by device, by time and by site.
- QoS (they call it Media Prioritization) is simplified.
- Supports VLAN.
- Supports local HTTPS access.
- Has a wireless scheduler to turn on and off access to your wireless network by time.
- Supports DDNS. Only DynDns, TZO, and No-IP are available however.
- Supports non WDS bridging and repeating.
- External Storage speeds are the fastest I've ever seen on a consumer router.
USB 2.0 Speeds averaged 31.0MB/s for Write to NTFS HDD.
USB 2.0 Speeds averaged 30.5MB/s for Read to NTFS HDD.
USB 2.0 Speeds averaged 27.8MB/s for Write to a FAT32 disk.
USB 2.0 Speeds averaged 30.1MB/s for Read to a FAT32 disk.
USB 3.0 Speeds averaged 65.6MB/s for Write to NTFS HDD.
USB 3.0 Speeds averaged 71.5MB/s for Read to NTFS HDD.
USB 3.0 Speeds averaged 60.1MB/s for Write to a FAT32 disk.
USB 3.0 Speeds averaged 74.6MB/s for Read to a FAT32 disk.
I did not test eSATA as I don't have any eSATA enclosures, but I imagine the speeds will be close to USB 3.0 speeds.
Cons: - NO VPN server OR client. Only VPN passthrough.
- External Storage FTP server does not have any means for secure access over the Internet.
- While this router has HTTPS local management access, there is no remote HTTP or HTTPS management access.
- Wireless range comparatively is seems a little bit weaker than a Netgear R7000. But better than my old N56U.
- This thing has a mini fan. I've never heard it spin up, but I am afraid under hotter conditions, the fan could get louder or eventually break.
- Fairly heavy for a router and probably the biggest consumer router I've seen.
- WAN to LAN throughput is not gigabit. If you have an internet connection over 1000Mbit for download, this router probably will not give you the max speed. Similar to the Netgear R7000. However, if you have anything lower than 500Mbit, you should be fine.
Other Thoughts: Firmware received in box was: 18.104.22.168917
Firmware was updated to 22.214.171.124461 prior to review.
Overall, as powerful as this router is, it offers a smaller feature set than other top-end routers. The lack of a VPN server is pretty short sighted, and the entire UI is built and geared towards simplification. The router does have decent routing capabilities however and the storage speeds are phenomenal. If anything you could put this in your network somewhere, disable the DHCP server and just use it as a NAS and/or backup incase your main router ever dies.
Many people have been complaining about disconnects and constant restarts required for this router. I personally have not experienced any random or intermittent disconnects. I did update the router firmware immediately, so I can't say if the firmware version it shipped with had any major issues. I've been connected wirelessly while streaming an movie and watching live streams for most of the day without any hiccups.
On the Linksys forums, users have reported over 110+ days of consistent uptime without any restarts or disconnects. Make sure you update the firmware and make sure your wireless channel is not overlapping a bunch of other people. If the router is still having issues and you've honestly exhausted all possibilities, try the open source firmware listed below.
I briefly tested the OpenWRT firmware for this router in hopes that it might have more features. It is called McWRT and you can find it on google just by searching for "McWRT". It is hosted on github by Chadster766.
Unfortunately, the McWRT firmware doesn't have a VPN server either. And overall seems to be lacking more features than stock. This isn't to say that eventually there won't be more, but do give it a shot if you are having issues with stock firmware.
Display Name: Benjamin C.
Date Joined: 09/24/07
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