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GIGABYTE G1 Gaming GA-Z97N-Gaming 5 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: All the on-board hardware is supported out of the box with the 3.13 kernel on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. This includes the LAN, WiFi, Bluetooth, sound, USB 3.0, everything. It all worked on first boot.

With the i7-4790K and a Sandisk Ultra SSD, this is one of the fastest booting Linux machines I've seen. From the post screen to the desktop login is ~3 seconds, and some of that is probably the monitor switching modes.

Cons: Some extra fluff that maybe I didn't need to pay for? X-Fi MB3 is a non-factor, as is the APP Center, and LED lit motherboard traces are a gimmick. Red glow is leaking out of my case in weird patterns.

Other Thoughts: While I'm a long time user of linux as a server platform, this build marks the first time I run Ubuntu as a main desktop/development machine, with a little gaming on the side. I'm very pleased with this board and how effortlessly it runs Ubuntu.

Borderlands 2 and the Pre Sequel, as well as Bioshock Infinite run flawlessly on highest settings in 1080P. Skyrim looks gorgeous under Wine at 4K.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97N-Gaming 5
i7-4790K Quad-Core 4.0GHz
16GB G.Skill Trident X PC 2400
Asus GeForce GTX 960 2GB
Sandisk Ultra 2 120GB SSD
WD Black 1TB HDD
EVGA Hadron case

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ICY DOCK FlexCage MB975SP-B Aluminum / Plastic 3.5
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: less than 1 day

Pros: Trayless, and you don't need all three SATA power connectors connected for all the drives to power up. Ask me how I know.

Cons: The doors are cheap and flimsy.

The latches are lousy. There's no indication that they've latched until you stop pressing and they stay in or not.

Drives have to be pressed in hard to get them to connect with the backplane. Due to the eject system, the drive is only seated when the door closes, so it involves pressing much harder than seems safe on the flimsy doors. I'm using WD Red drives. The drives bind sometimes when installing, but it's real easy to tell this is happening before you need to press them in.

The buttons for powering off the drives are EXTREMELY cheap, and poorly positioned. One of the buttons was faulty out of the box. Only playing around with it for a while was I able to make it go. This is a problem if you're swapping drives on a running machine. Also, their location and operation make it likely that some cases will not work with the buttons. They're on the outside edge of the front of the enclosure, and I'd wager that on some cases they would get stuck when being depressed.

Bad chassis material. I'm always very careful about how much torque I apply when mounting things in computers. However, it took no effort to strip out the screw holes using the included screws. Also, it was painted/powdercoated after the holes were tapped, making it difficult to start the screws.

Other Thoughts: I've had nothing but disappointment with this drive cage. Reading other reviews I went into it carefully, expecting lowish quality, but they cut too many corners for me to recommend it to anybody. 2 eggs, because I got it mostly to work for now. Barely.

I broke one of the power connectors when installing it in my case (Athena Power RM-DD3U36E708). Power plugs needed to be plugged in before it could be mounted in that case. All 5 bays still work with just the two plugged in. Totally my fault, and it ruins my chances of a refund. Bah.

I'm buying a different (non-trayless) enclosure instead, and this one is going in the garbage the moment it arrives.

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TP-LINK TL-WA901ND Wireless N300 Access Point, 300Mbps, Multifunction, Multiple SSID
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Easy setup, VLAN support, multiple SSID's, great range, POE. Most everything we were looking for.

Cons: Repeater/Range extender only handles 1 SSID, so don't buy two thinking you'll be able to extend all the SSIDs from the master.

Unreliable and unpredictable wireless behavior.

Constantly needing to be reset, with a high hardware failure rate.

Other Thoughts: We bought a number of these, hoping to provide both a secured and an unsecured inexpensive wireless network to our church building. Setup was easy, but we were a little annoyed by the fact that when in repeater mode, it would only do one SSID. Not a big deal, they're inexpensive, we can get more.

The first one failed after a short time with all manner of unpredictable wireless behavior. Sometimes it pretended it was WEP security, even though the configurator said otherwise, and it had to be restarted often. We re-flashed the ROM a couple times, and re-loaded our settings a couple times, each time with only temporary success.

Clearly the first one we installed had gone faulty, so since we bought a pile of them, we simply replaced that with a second one. That worked for a while, then started exhibiting other issues.

The third one failed as well after a short time.

Another annoying thing is the apparent incompatibility with certain other hardware. Apple devices seem to have speed issues when connected to these AP's, as well as some other various manufacturers. This was the case from the get-go with all three of these that we had installed. Not once did we see acceptable speeds on a certain set of hardware (Apple, primarily) when connected to these access points.

Normally I don't give 1 Egg on hardware failures, because there's always the chance I got a lemon. That's not the case here. We've had terrible luck with 4 of these devices, so I can say confidently, "Buyer Beware".

We'll be returning all of them, and going with another manufacturer.

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Jeremiah C.'s Profile

Display Name: Jeremiah C.

Date Joined: 04/03/08

  • Reviews: 35
  • Helpfulness: 19
  • First Review: 03/11/09
  • Last Review: 09/08/15
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