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Seagate Innov8 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive - USB-C Powered - STFG8000400
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

4 out of 5 eggs Expensive, not portable, but otherwise nice external hard drive 08/26/2016

This review is from: Seagate Innov8 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive - USB-C Powered - STFG8000400

Pros: Appearance wise this thing looks great. Solid metal construction- it is very heavy when you first unbox it. Feels like a brick. Very big capacity- 8TB is more than what most people will ever need. Also, it is nice that a drive this big only requires one USB cable. Performance is what you would typically expect for a large size hard drive- very fast sequential read and write, but slower for random reads and writes (for example, lots of small files). This makes sense because the drive is slower spinning (5900 RPM) so it does take a while to get from one physical memory location to another.

Comes with a 2 year offer for 200GB of storage on Microsoft OneDrive. Even after the 2 year period ends your data still is accessible, just read only so a great option to upload some older photos or other files that you won’t need to edit after the fact.

Cons: Yes it is an external hard drive but that doesn’t mean it’s actually very portable. I wouldn’t bring this around much- it’s pretty unwieldy. Also, the Ignition Boost Technology is basically just a battery that provides the extra little boost in power to get the drive started up (spinning it up takes more power than keeping it running) and if you turn it on and off a lot there’s a possibility that this battery doesn’t get a chance to recharge and gets depleted. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing but considering it’s best for this to be just left on, there are a couple of other cons:

First, the USB cable is pretty short. Not a problem if you’re just going to let the drive sit on the PC case, but my case is on the floor and I would rather have the drive on my desk, somewhere the cable won’t reach to. I could just buy another cable but quality cables are not the cheapest (USB is evolved enough that using cheap garbage cables can actually damage your stuff).

Second, as other reviews have noted, the need for power means this is only compatible with USB C 3.1. Older USB ports simply don’t provide enough power, even USB 3.0. There are plenty of reports of people trying to use adapters and not having it work. I have a newer computer so no problem there, but really since this is not a portable drive, it would be best if I could use it as network storage, but I’d need a separate always on server type computer to do that. I don’t believe any routers currently have USB C 3.1 ports, as that is what I think would be the optimal way to use this drive.

Other Thoughts: All in all still a good product. However, in conclusion I think it’s more of a niche product. Since it isn’t really portable you would probably be better off just buying a big internal hard drive for your desktop and save a few bucks. Would work nicely for laptop users, but be sure you have a USB C 3.1 port, not an adapter.

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Belkin F7C043fc WeMo Maker - Home Automation for the Tinkerer & DIY'er, Wi-Fi Enabled and WeMo App Controlled
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

4 out of 5 eggs Nifty gadget for controlling things over internet 08/07/2016

This review is from: Belkin F7C043fc WeMo Maker - Home Automation for the Tinkerer & DIY'er, Wi-Fi Enabled and WeMo App Controlled

Pros: In a nutshell: this device is a basically a relay which you can control over the internet using a smartphone app, and includes a digital sensor input which allows you some basic level of IFTTT (if this then that) programmability. Overall, it is quite nifty and has a wide array of uses. So far I've only played around with basic circuits to see what I could do with it, but some ideas that I've frequently seen are things like garage door openers which can be controlled remotely and also set to send text notifications if left open (by using a sensor). It is quite simple to use but does require some basic electronics knowledge. If you're even a dabbling hobbyist that should be more than enough though, as it is quite simple.

I'll break down the different components. The relay (basically, a switch that is either open or closed) is the main method of control. This takes a maximum of 24V and 1A, and can be either toggled on or off to power or turn something off, or momentarily pulsed open or closed to simulate a button press. The sensor input is a 2.4-5V digital TTL low triggered logic input, which means it is usually at a high voltage, but when it is pulled down to ground (a lot of common sensors behave this way when triggered), the WeMo can sense that input. Finally, the whole thing is connected to your router and you can control it over the internet through a smartphone app. You can see whether or not the relay is open or closed, and whether or not the sensor input has been triggered or not. You can then control the relay, or, there is the ability to do some very basic programming. For example, using the garage door opener case, let's say you hook up a door open/close sensor to the sensor port- you can tell the WeMo to either close the door automatically at a specified time if it's open, or send you a text message telling you that it's open so you can then close it.

Overall, it does what it is supposed to and if you are somewhat handy with electronics (if you're shopping on Newegg you probably are), then you'll have no problem setting this up. I didn't encounter any confusion, although I will say this is one of those things where you should actually read the instructions instead of jumping right in, as it'll save you a lot of time.

Cons: This device is pretty obviously targeted to be beginner-friendly, and it does it's job quite well while being easy to set up. However, if you're a fairly seasoned electronics hobbyist (or in my case, professional), it's pretty clear there are quite a lot of limitations. I'll list a few considerations here:

Firstly, the sensor port is quite limited. It is digital only which means your sensor must have 2 states- on or off. No analog sensors here, and it is unreliable to use the sensor input's threshold voltage to turn an analog sensor into a digital one. This limits a lot of what you can easily hook up- for example, no analog temperature sensors, unless you build a circuit to turn the output to digital first. In addition, it is an active low sensor- which means if your digital sensor pulls high when triggered, you will need a TTL inverter to flip the signals so they make sense. Secondly, the voltage range is quite limited. If you want to run something high power you may need to do something like daisy chain this relay to another relay which can drive the higher voltage. Those are just some things you might have to think about.

Finally, the price- at around 80 bucks it is a little steep for something so simple. If you have some more advanced electronics experience, it is fairly simple and much cheaper to re-create this system using something like a Raspberry Pi or Arduino.

Other Thoughts: Overall, a good product. Best for a beginner electronics hobbyist.

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CORSAIR CX-M series CX450 450W 80 PLUS BRONZE Haswell Ready ATX12V & EPS12V Modular Power Supply
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

5 out of 5 eggs Great budget modular power supply 08/07/2016

This review is from: CORSAIR CX-M series CX450 450W 80 PLUS BRONZE Haswell Ready ATX12V & EPS12V Modular Power Supply

Pros: Great budget power supply for more energy efficient builds. Reliable power supply (about 2 weeks of use, so far so good), I've used Corsair units in many builds from low to high end and never had any issues with them, and this unit is no different. The fan runs quiet, there is no noticeable coil whine or noise (some PSUs that are designed poorly will actually make a buzzing sound when loaded). 80 Plus Bronze means your PSU wastes less energy converting AC from the wall to DC that your PC actually uses, saving your power bill a little bit.

Most importantly, this is a 'true' 450W PSU. What I mean by that is if you look at the power distribution of the rails, there is just about 450W on the 12V rail. 12V is the most used rail and what your CPU and GPU draw power from. A lot of cheap PSUs will call themselves a 450W PSU but then when you read the power distribution, the 12V only is a fraction of that and another voltage rail, like the 5V rail makes up the rest of the wattage. That's misleading because almost nothing (maybe your CD drive) uses the 5V rail.

Semi-modular design makes a PC build with a case with a window way cleaner. Note that the main 24-pin motherboard and 8-pin CPU cables are not removable, but this is actually better- since all builds will use those cables anyway, soldering them down to the board makes the connection more reliable. Modular connectors can be a point of failure as over time oxidation of the metal contacts and dust and other things can make the connection less reliable and minimizing these is a good balance. The modular cables themselves look great- I love that Corsair uses the ribbon-style cable rather than just lumping all the wires together with heat-shrink and calling it a day like most other PSUs. More than enough wires for all the peripherals (though I do wish the connectors weren't all on one cable, see cons).

Cons: For a lower end power supply, this is nitpicking so I won't deduct a star, but I wish not all the connectors on the modular cables were tied together. What I mean is, there's only 1 cable with 2 plugs for GPU PCIe power. Both of the GPU power connectors on the same cable. With a PSU with lower wattage like this, I am unlikely to be using it in a build with multiple GPUs- my current card only needs one connector. So what happens is one connector is plugged in but the other just kinda hangs there not in use. Makes the modular design a little less clean looking and it'd be nice if there could be two separate cables with 1 connector each. But I do get that some graphics cards need 2 connectors- that would be the cleanest case. But in that case you may want a more powerful supply anyway. If this will bother you you may wish to figure out whether your GPU needs 2 connectors or not before buying.

Other Thoughts: All in all, a good budget PSU for bang-for-the-buck systems. Looks great if you have a case with a window.

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Anonymous's Profile

Display Name: Anonymous

Date Joined: 08/04/09

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  • Reviews: 98
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  • First Review: 12/26/09
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