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ASRock FM2A78 PRO3+ FM2+ / FM2 AMD A78 FCH (Bolton-D3) 6 x SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Has been very stable through stress testing (ran a few days of memtest86 and then went for a solid shot at mprime for a few days). The VRMs get a bit hot if you're using a pillar style cooler like the CM Hyper series, so a fan to blow on the medium adequate heatsink by the CPU socket might be in order. The physical layout is less than perfect but it's not terrible. 4 RAM slots are nice in this price range and the hardware does not seem to be low quality. Full ATX layout makes it easier to fit everything needed for future expansion including PCI and PCIe slots, memory, lots of fan connectors, etc. BIOS is reasonably well documented and logically laid out.

Cons: I'd trade one of the X1 slots at the top to the bottom very quickly, even for a PCI slot, all to gain clearance for a two slot card in the bottom slot (for a retired primary to do PhysX). The PCB is a bit thin and flexible but that's to be expected in this price range, tread carefully.

Other Thoughts: This is replacing a nearly 10 year old ASRock NVidia based AM2 board that has seen a lot of hard use (temps, overclocking, lots of hardware connected & disconnected, etc.), so I've got reasonably high expectations of this board. That said, it looks to meet them. I'll update if I have any major problems inside the first year but I'd recommend this if you are looking at a tight budget build for a FULL ATX case (Full/Mid/Mini Tower or Desktop) and want lots of expansion at a very reasonable price. I'm running a 760K on it for reference and will be connecting lots of drives and a 550TI as well as an eventual 4 sticks of RAM.

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Rosewill REPA-12001 - Black, 3.1A (2.1A + 1A) Dual USB Car Adapter / Fast Charger - Charges Your iPad, iPhone, iPod, Smartphone & MP3/4 Player
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

Pros: Between the two ports, you have both "charger" configurations for the data port requirements (some phones are picky about whether the data cables are open or shorted), so you can charge just about brand of device. Works great for my Nexus 4, my wife's LG L90, her old Samsung, my HP Touchpad, and everything else I've ever plugged in.

Cons: The back is large and sticks out a bit. A smaller tail configuration would be nice but I'm not really that pick about it.

Other Thoughts: I've got two and bought a few for friends. Everyone's happy and I'm looking at another for a new project. For the price, you can't go wrong.

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NETGEAR ReadyNAS 102 (RN10200-100NAS) Diskless System Network Storage
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs Easy to configure with loads of options, if they work 11/30/2014

This review is from: NETGEAR ReadyNAS 102 (RN10200-100NAS) Diskless System Network Storage

Pros: The 102 works well for a basic NAS with lots of good features including flexible arrays, lots of control (though not as extensive as it could be on the hardware side), and plenty of expandable features like USB hosting, software apps, and cloud access both via Netgear and other providers. The hardware seems to be well thought out and doesn't have any weird kinks I've encountered so far. Also, this uses a file format that allows removal of the disk from the unit and retrieving data from another computer so data loss due to a "system failure" rather than disk failure is a non issue (this can be a large problem with other systems that I've used in the past).

Cons: The software, though fairly well designed and implemented, is not complete for this model. For instance, you will find Dropbox support all over the marketing materials for this family of products & software but it is not functional for the ARM based units like this one (even though it shows up in the software as configurable). I'm hoping that Netgear changes this but, meanwhile, it shows a lack of interest in the "lower end" of this family of products and left a bitter taste in my mouth. In fact, this is what kept it from getting a 5 out of 5 star review from me even though they have their own (much more expensive) cloud service available as well.

Other Thoughts: If you need a simple, user friendly NAS box for your small office or home, this is a good contender but I'll suggest that you'll need to find a workaround for cloud backup of your files if you need it.

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SCOTT T.'s Profile

Display Name: SCOTT T.

Date Joined: 04/05/04

  • Reviews: 12
  • Helpfulness: 6
  • First Review: 05/16/08
  • Last Review: 05/03/15
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