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CORSAIR CX series CX500 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Very reasonably priced at $30 after promo deal and mail in rebate (assuming it comes through).
Good cable lengths, and lots of connectors.
Cables are all in braided wrap.

Cons: None so far

Other Thoughts: Not sure this is worth the regular price of $60, but if you see it on special for $30 like it was a couple weeks ago, jump on it!

ASUS Z87-A (NFC EXPRESS EDITION) LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Lots of features.
Relatively inexpensive.

Cons: The manual for this motherboard is very poor, especially the BIOS setup section. The whole idea of a manual is to explain the feature in question, not to state that this option enables and disables the feature. Sadly, for most non-standard options in the BIOS setup, you get no help at all. For example, what on earth is "Memory Scrambler?"

The mounting holes on the right side of the board (where the 24 pin power cable is) are not close to the edge of the board or even in line with the power cable. This forces you to put something under the board to prevent it from flexing when plugging in the power cable which is right at the right edge of the board. I don't remember ever seeing a board with this much overhang.

The front panel header is totally non-standard, and the pin spacing is wrong for power LED, so you're going to have to pull that lead apart to connect it.

I'm glad I didn't buy this because of the include NFC Express device, since it only works with Windows 8. That might have been worth mentioning in the description. At least you can use it as a USB 3.0 hub...

Other Thoughts: Overall, this is a good board, and once you carefully install it, it should run fine. The price was right at around $70 after rebate (assuming I get it).

Seagate  STDD8000100  8TB  NAS Pro 2-Bay Network Storage
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Very good prosumer NAS 03/18/2015

This review is from: Seagate STDD8000100 8TB NAS Pro 2-Bay Network Storage

Pros: - Flexible storage array options: JBOD, RAID 0, 1
- Based on my testing, there appears to be no significant performance difference between array types.
- Fast RAID controller which hides most of the RAID 1 write penalty.
- Volumes can be encrypted by the NAS to prevent data from being read from a disk that was taken out of the NAS, however, depending on how you use the NAS, this may turn into a sustaining nightmare.
- No documented limit to the number of shares or users and the NAS is able to attach to active directory, minimizing account management on the SAN. Each user can also be given a usage quota.
- Users can be placed into access groups, easing management of share access levels.
- 10 different file sharing services are available, including SFTP which allows encrypted transfers to and from the NAS (although data is not encrypted in the share – you'll have to use something of your own for that).
- Additional storage can be added to the NAS using the built in USB ports, although this storage cannot be combined with the built in storage to make a RAID array. It can, however, be used to automatically back up the data on the NAS.
- This NAS can act as a print server if a USB printer is attached to it.
- There are 2 1Gpbs network interfaces which can be configured in an active/standby auto-failover mode, as a port group to increase the network bandwidth with a slower failover, or as a dual-homed device allowing connections from two different subnets. The NAS supports port group creation using both LACP (Link Aggregation Control Protocol) and DLMP (DataLink MultiPathing) which is nice if your network switches don't support LACP.
- All configuration settings, access levels, user accounts, and groups can be backed up to an offline device, and restored if needed.

- Start of Cons -
- Takes several minutes to boot, so don't expect to turn it on and get working right away.
- Instructions say you must go online to connect to the NAS for first time, but the NAS OS Setup Assistant web site referenced in the setup pamphlet couldn't find my device. This was most likely a firewall issue which I didn't want to deal with, so I had to watch for the new DHCP address to pop up on my router, and manually navigate there with my web browser.
- Very useless instructions included. Fortunately, there is a 24 page Limited Warranty Book printed in 24 different languages to tide you over.
- Once connected to the NAS via a web browser, there is a ? icon in the upper right corner. Clicking this send you to Seagate's web site to view an HTML version of the manual which is extremely slow to change pages, and is of minimal use because due to sorely lacking details and the fact that it is a combined document for all of their NAS devices.
- A perfect example of a documentation failure is the button under the power button on the front of the NAS with a circle on it. It isn't even mentioned in the online manual or the pamphlet in the box.

Cons: - Before you can use your new NAS device, you must agree to 5 pages worth of Terms and Conditions for Seagate NAS OS, which includes allowing Seagate to collect "personally identifiable information in connection with your use of the Product." Don't be duped by the words “No access” under Internet on the overview page; it got out to update its firmware when you first booted it, right?
- SimpleRAID appears to be a blatant rip-off of the Drobo.
- Has difficulty with access prioritization. A more powerful client can and will choke out a less powerful client. Otherwise reasonable transfer rates on slower computers are reduced significantly and sometimes even stalled when a faster computer starts loading the NAS. It is also fairly repeatable to cause a SMB mount on a slower computer to be disconnected by heavy load from another faster computer.
- If a volume is encrypted, any shares on that volume are inaccessible not only at power on, but also wake up, until the key is entered in the management GUI. This could be a major issue if the unit is set to go to sleep at night to save energy and the admin is on vacation or running late. This can be circumvented by using the USB key feature, but the key would have to be inserted when it woke up, which kind of defeats the security benefit since anyone stealing the NAS would have the key to unlock it already stuck in it!
- Based on benchmark results, this NAS is clearly caching writes, which could result in data loss if the unit crashes or loses power during a write that the client was told completed. I have found no way to modify this behavior, and there is no mention of it in the manual.
- Power off disks after xx minutes doesn't seem to work.
- Ama zon 3S and Box are the only “out of the box” cloud solutions, although you can use the “Other Server” option and configure something yourself, but you will need to take care of the NAS network configuration yourself.
- I really wish this NAS didn't have a brick style power pack. As it is, there is a tiny barrel style power connector plugged into the back, and it's not even a very snug fit. This is just screaming to be knocked loose. There isn't even anything on the back that the cord could be looped through or tie-wrapped to.
- The monitoring page is not accurate, at least not for network usage. It's actually completely out to lunch. During my read rate testing with both NAS interfaces combined, in a port group the NAS alternately reported network usage of 129MB/s and 162MB/s, while my client reported a consistent usage of 75.6MB/s (calculated from network tab in task manager). During write tests, the NAS alternately reported network usage of 201MB/s and 240MB/s, while my client reported a consistent usage of 111MB/s, Beyond being completely inaccurate, these readings are actually impossible given the fact that the single connected client only has a single 1Gbps network interface (max theoretical throughput of 120MB/s).

Other Thoughts: - It is interesting that Seagate gives a RAID 1 array a protection rating of only 2.5/5. They must not think very highly of their NAS since short of both disks failing at the same time (not likely), the only other failure point is the NAS itself.
- They also gave JBOD a performance of only 1/5. Given that the write performance of a single disk (JBOD) is actually twice that of a RAID 1 array (which gets 3/5), I have to question this thought process at Seagate.

- There were a bunch of applications in the Apps menu on the NAS when I first got it, but since reformatting the array, they are all gone. It's unfortunate that there was no warning of them being on the array rather than in flash memory. Now that I have done this, the only option I have to get these applications back is to go to advanced settings, enable “Manual Install Mode” and reinstall them from my computer. Now all I have do is find them and get them onto my computer. I'm thinking they are gone forever. Hopefully one of the other EggXperts here will have tested them before testing volume creation...

Power usage:
Turned off/sleep: 2 Watts
While idle: 19 Watts
Heavy load: 24 Watts

Benchmarks generated using Crystal Disk Mark are remarkably similar regardless of the array type. This indicates that the bottleneck is the network connection rather than the NAS. I also found that despite the warning about encryption impacting performance, encrypted arrays performed just as well as non-encrypted volumes. As the test file size increased, the sustained read and write performance remained very stable, but the random read and write performance suffered. Again, due to the caching in the NAS controller, random read performance was much more significantly impacted. Below are the results for a 4GB RAID 1 test:

Sequential Read: 69.660 MB/s
Sequential Write: 109.776 MB/s
Random Read 512KB: 29.547 MB/s
Random Write 512KB: 83.900 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1): 0.751 MB/s [ 183.2 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1): 5.452 MB/s [ 1331.1 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32):0.711 MB/s [ 173.5 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32): 14.031 MB/s [ 3425.5 IOPS]

Measuring the performance of the NAS while multiple computers were actively copying data proved to be very difficult due to inability of the NAS to mange the traffic between clients of varying performance levels. For example, when I copied data only from a slower computer, I got transfer rates of about 50MB/s, and when I copied from a fast computer, transfers ran at near line speed (110MB/s). However, when both of those computers copied data at the same time (slower computer starting first), the slow computer slowed to less that 5MB/s while the fast computer maintained speeds of 80MB/s or more. Often times, the SMB share would disconnect from the slower computer during large copies or benchmark tests from the fast computer.

Combining the 2 NICs into a port group didn't seem to improve the performance of multiple computer acc


Steve F.'s Profile

Display Name: Steve F.

Date Joined: 06/27/05

  • Reviews: 43
  • Helpfulness: 27
  • First Review: 12/01/07
  • Last Review: 02/16/15
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