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OCZ ARC 100 ARC100-25SAT3-480G 2.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs 3 Months of testing, no eggs lost. 06/03/2015

This review is from: OCZ ARC 100 ARC100-25SAT3-480G 2.5" 480GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Pros: I have used this drive for gaming, not hosting an OS. I only have (an utterly inferior) Crucial 120GB M500 SSD as the only drive against which I can compare this SSD.

The drive itself:
- Aesthetically sleek and stylish blue and white colors with apparent brushed aluminum.
- Capacity: Raw: 480GB, Formatted: 447GB
- Quick seek times. (My Crucial M500, it will sometimes pause up to 5+ seconds loading icons, folders and files. I have not had this problem with this drive at all.
- 3 year warranty
- Affordable price. (What, $0.38 per GB? Yeah!)
- Barefoot 3 controller
- 7mm thickness for thin form-factor devices.
- 256-bit AES encryption, (though encryption relates to the only Con with this drive.)

OCZ’s SSDGuru software is packed with features, most are typical for SSD software:
- reporting the % of the remaining drive’s life (assuming this is accurate)
- manual “trimming” if your OS doesn’t support auto-trimming.
- Linux and Windows, plus a bootable version via DOS, meaning a PC or Bootcamp on a Mac
- secure erase disk
- OCZ firmware update notifications
- manual “over provisioning” for maximizing the lifespan.
- Links to OCZ’s extensive support base
- disk and system information reports, not dissimilar from CrystalDiskmark or CPU-Z but not quite as detailed.

Compared to my Crucial SSD software (Storage Executive), SSDGuru is similar although some features are missing such as Momentum Cache, and encryption [see Cons.]

Real transfer speeds:
- Copying a 4GB mkv file in Windows 8.1: 130mb/s write, 315mb/s read.
- Copying my 200GB Steam folder took hours with the rate dropping to 1MB/s to 5MB/s for numerous small files, jumping to 150MB/s for larger files. Never reaching 300 or 400MB/s (copying from a Seagate 4TB 7200 RPM HDD.).


Benchmark speeds:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3 x64 (C) 2007-2013 hiyohiyo
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

Sequential Read : 333.702 MB/s
Sequential Write : 191.687 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 290.493 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 201.182 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 25.013 MB/s [ 6106.7 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 70.681 MB/s [ 17256.2 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 193.949 MB/s [ 47350.9 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 96.023 MB/s [ 23443.1 IOPS]

Test : 4000 MB [H: 47.4% (212.0/447.0 GB)] (x1)
Date : 2015/06/03 5:46:34
OS : Windows 8.1 [6.3 Build 9600] (x64)

Cons: I tried to find a con. I scrutinized, criticized and benchmarked. The drive has lasted nearly 3 months of gaming, speeds are great, seek time is fast, and the drive is still at 100% life according to SSDGuru after some moderate use. There is no real con to this drive, but one notable possible con for some.

No eggs lost, but the only [conditional] con for this drive is no native 3rd party encryption support.

Unlike my Corsair M500 and many other modern SSDs, there isn’t native encryption support like for TCG Opal, SED, etc. As mentioned, this doesn’t lose an egg since [I’d argue] OCZ appeals to gamers or enthusiasts anyway. I can definitely forgive that with this drive, though I would think moving toward user-controlled FDE support is a standard and I would hope to see that added to most (or all) drives in the future. This is assuming the move doesn’t hurt performance. If anything, it could at least be optional to enable.

But again, as a high performance enthusiast/gaming SSD this drive is without cons. As a SSD for a business/professional laptop hosting stock market trade secrets...well, there’s only one possible con in that case.

Other Thoughts: I have waited to do this review in case a failure occurred, considering the reviews and opinions about this drive. Alas, it is still working perfectly with some moderate use. I’m not sure why my benchmark speeds are lower than the 400/400 rates others report unless it has to do with the dock I am using atop my CoolerMaster mix-ATX case, which is a SATA III port.

The motherboard used for testing is a Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H, 32GB of 1866 RAM, and an Intel Core i5-4690K.

As of yet, this drive has defied the 3-egg rating and surpasses my Crucial in performance even with these lower benchmarked speeds. Absent 3rd party encryption notwithstanding, this is a 5-egg SSD through-and-through for gamers and enthusiasts. For the low price, you cannot go wrong with this drive if in the market for a ~500GB SSD. I’ll update if I experience some catastrophic failure. However, given the 3-year warranty, OCZ’s active support forums, and the informative SSDGuru software I don’t expect it to be too troublesome given the data is backed up.

READ FULL REVIEW
TRENDnet TPL-410APK AV500 Powerline with WiFi N300 Extender kit
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs For the specific market, it works great. 06/03/2015

This review is from: TRENDnet TPL-410APK AV500 Powerline with WiFi N300 Extender kit

Pros: Over all, though there are more cost efficient and faster methods this works well to fill the requirement of networking over power outlets. Setup is easy but wifi configuration can be harder for the less-tech savvy user.

- Other than one small issue [note 1 in OTs], the overall build quality is decent and it doesn't feel cheap.

- Easy to follow instructions...but complicated configuration procedures.

- As a powerline adapter, it just works with legitimate plug n’ play. Initially, I didn’t even press the scan buttons for it to automatically detect all devices and connect.

- It is a transparent bridge, so no forwarding ports or anything. It acts as a switch with the IP address leased from the source, so no NAT.

- My apartment is relatively old with copper wires (and even some outlets missing ground plugs, to give an idea of how old the place is..)

- For transfer speeds, see OTs.

Software GUI:
- Automatic encryption is enabled. As would be expected with devices like this, you wouldn't want to transmit your data across power cables unencrypted just in case someone else knew to intercept it.
- Map View in the software provides easy viewing and network expansion with additional devices. GUI also allows monitoring the quality of connections, data transfer rate, and changing the encryption password as well as generating reports about the connections.
- QoS settings for preemptively prioritizing data is one benefit over a traditional switch, at least.

Web GUI:
- Software synch function is in the web configuration UI so technically no Ethernet is required to set it up. Users can connect, set the static IP, and press sync from the web config (192.68.10.100).
- Can set as the server or client on the powerline (CCo mode)
- Optional DHCP server, should one want to isolate the subnet.
- MAC filtering, and other limited, basic wifi settings.
- Advanced settings include WMM and Aggregation settings [frames, size]
- Product warranty/registration link is in the right bottom corner.

Cons: There aren't any major cons if you are in the market for a powerline adapter and tech savvy. There are a few characteristics that add up to a lost egg, in my opinion.

- Price. This is certainly a decent quality product and holds a lot of potential for a *specific userbase*, however $100 seems a little steep. Perhaps it is because I am not the intended user, however other stores and sites are selling it for $50 to $70, which seems somewhat more appropriate. [See OTs Note 2.]

- The 60 second reboot waiting period with every setting change is daunting...

- Though not a real con, per se, the configuration process is unappealing. For casual users, it is complicated to setup and configure the wireless and other advanced settings (via the static IP 192.168.10.xxx). I understand it is necessary for the device to otherwise act a transparent bridge and avoid the trouble of a NAT.

Other Thoughts: Speeds were acceptable, neither a con nor pro. At around 30MB/s (roughly half of the advertised 500mbit rate) to my NAS and similar speeds to my desktop SMB share, it is clear this device might be the bottleneck since I nearly double those rates on 802.11ac or quintuple them through a gigabit switch. However, realistically these speeds aren't too horrible for a *theoretically* 500mbps system. As it stands, any slower would be a con. It may have more appropriately been advertised as a 200 to 300mbps device in my case but I am giving the benefit of the doubt since my apartment infrastructure is older. Maybe others have better luck.

I cannot speak to the range or whether this would reach across a large estate. Either way, with using the included wifi or a second wifi router, this could be a decent solution for a slower backbone if you fall into that niche of using powerlines. It is not a viable option for 802.11ac, however, since the slow speeds are a nearly a bottleneck for even dual band 802.11n, theoretically.

The only other addition to this device I could see would be adding a USB port (or two). I notice in the logs that the wifi AP/powerline client runs a Linux Busybox kernel (there are also cron jobs visibly running as root, too...) so it should be easy for a manufacturer to tack on some USB headers and add a port or two depending on the hardware and memory...and add value to the device as a NAS or network printer point. That actually may justify a $100 pricetag.

It is notable to mention that I could *not* get the static IP/configuration to work through Ethernet. I had to connect to the wifi network in order to do so. This was after extensive troubleshooting and factory resetting…hope this helps someone out there.

[Note 1.] The physical power button was detached from the unit when I received it. No matter. Just popped it on and it pressed firmly into place and doesn't come off again. I guess it is good to know that TrendNet sent a basic copy ‘off the belt’ and didn't spruce up a quality unit specifically for reviewers. It was just a matter of the power button being firmly settled into the socket.

[Note 2.] Personally, I would think a cheaper and more efficient solution is to run a < 300ft Cat6 ethernet cable to a gigabit switch (even with a PoE) rather than use a powerline adapter at this price for half the throughput.

Also notable: The software program installs WinPcap for whatever reason. Those familiar with wireshark may recognize this.

The wifi AP has WPS enabled by default. Users should always disable WPS due to the “reaver” exploit. Some manufacturers have tried to fix the exploit but you should ask yourself whether a WPS shortcut is worth the security risk rather than just using a WPA2 passphrase...

READ FULL REVIEW
TP-LINK Archer C8 AC1750 Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router, 2.4GHz 450Mbps+5Ghz 1350Mbps, 1 USB 2.0 Port & 1 USB 3.0 Port, IPv6, Guest Network
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: This is a 6 month update to my review on 11/10/2014 8:15:52 AM.

Still affordable, still powerful, still multifunctional! Extremely simple to set up.

Networked printing and scanning working flawlessly! Also check out “TP-Link Tether” on android market. You can kick wireless clients, reboot the router, and see DHCP leases.

A DD-WRT port is in progress, however the Broadcom chipset isn't easily ported so it isn't expected anytime soon, but sometime in the foreseeable future.

Signal is great on the 2.4GHz band, however 5GHz is understandably lacking. Tried to set up a WDS but it wouldn't initialize. (See Cons).

I won't repeat all the features mentioned in the other review.
To see all the features here is a simulator for the web interface:
http://www.tp-link.com/resources/simulator/Archer-C8/Index.htm

Dual-band, 2-year warranty, SMTP mail reporting, uPNP & SMB file sharing, various ACLs and customizable security features, DynDNS, guest networks, etc.

This router remains a great powerhouse to my home network. 802.11ac might not be completely ready yet without mesh networking, depending on the distance to cover.

Still no issues running Plex Media Server- even through a nested NAT with ports forwarded.

Cons: NO VPN SUPPORT (neither client nor server.)

I mainly wanted to post this update to cover the WDS hassles, in addition to reporting back on the continuity.

WDS failed with a second Archer C8 v1. WDS in both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands failed. (stuck during initialization) I wanted to set up a 5GHz WDS (ideally, even as a repeater, half the throughput would still be faster than 802.11n.) Initially, I realized I had flashed the UN instead of US firmware, which I corrected and the secondary router read as running the WDS briefly before they both stuck with “init…” after I reciprocated the WDS settings at the host.

On the plus side, it was worth it to put them on a copper backbone (Router1 LAN -> Router2 WAN) and expanding distance with a secondary network. A wireless solution would have been ideal; however, the throughput was faster compared to the signal loss with only one SSID.

It wasn't until this experience that I realized I really miss DD-WRT. I’ll mess with it more when I have time, but a 5GHz WDS would be great with two or three of Archer V8's.

Other Thoughts: This is still a workhorse of a router to consider if you want to upgrade to AC. The most practical benefit over the past few months is that streaming 1080p HD content is more pleasant for larger 2GB to 4GB files, naturally.

If, or when, DD-WRT is finally ported it should really unlock this dual-core 800MHz processor and 128MB of memory to do a lot more that only the open source community can deliver (VPN- and not to mention implement better WDS or Bridge-Repeat operations.)

Also notable for the more tech savvy users:
In the spirit of TP-Link's commitment to openness, I extracted the firmware (a compressed squashfs image). It uses a basic busybox install, dropbear, a 2.6 kernel, etc. If this router is truly open, a skilled hobbyist/enthusiast can probably cross compile a toolchain and chroot into the firmware image and add ssh and other essentials.

Firmware tools are included on a kali linux live DVD and debian repos.

Importantnote: I haven’t seen any JTAG headers and there doesn't appear to be any recovery method through TFTP or anything like Asus uses. I'm guessing it would be simple enough to make firmware changes and update the MD5 in the key file that unpacks alongside the sqfs image, before repackaging back into a binary. Though I haven't seen TPL confirm this anywhere.

READ FULL REVIEW

Theodore P.'s Profile

Display Name: Theodore P.

Date Joined: 02/13/11

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 69
  • Helpfulness: 36
  • First Review: 03/02/11
  • Last Review: 06/03/15
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