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Seagate FireCuda ST1000DX002 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

4 out of 5 eggs Nice product, somewhat niche placement though 09/25/2016

This review is from: Seagate FireCuda ST1000DX002 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Gaming SSHD Hybrid Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: I wanted to test this drive as the single drive in a gaming computer, for both boot and data/apps. An alternate way to use this drive might be in a dual drive setup, with a fast but small boot SSD and then this drive for data and games. That would be a good way to get more storage that is faster than a regular data hard drive, without the expense of buying a large SSD.

I had no problems cloning the drive and getting windows to boot. I use a handful of older steam games like portal2 and civilization that have fairly long level load times, so thats how I tested this.

Using my old 7200rpm hard drive, my computer took about 110 seconds to boot up to a useable desktop. With a 1TB SSD, that boot time was dropped to 30 seconds. With the firecuda, boot times started out a bit slow over 90 seconds, but then over the next few days after a dozen or so reboots, boot times dropped as expected, to around 60 seconds. So it wasn't as fast as my pure SSD, but it was certainly a lot faster than the regular hard drive. The boot times dropped as the commonly used boot files were move over to the SSD portion of the drive, and that seemed effective.

Game load times were not consistent enough to time, however just like boot times, they were not as short as the pure SSD but were noticeably faster than a regular hard drive. I was only using a couple games so again I assume the drive was able to put the commonly used files on the SSD portion to improve load times.

For generic system responsiveness like search results and going through large email files, the drive did feel noticeably slower than the large SSD I have been using. It felt a little bit snappier than the old hard drive, however when reading, searching, or indexing it was nowhere near as responsive as the SSD. For tasks that involved writes, the fast write speed did seem to help, with programs saving data and closing about as fast as they did with the big SSD.

For raw speeds, I was getting around 140mb/s read and 180mb/s write, which isn't super fast because my gaming computer is a bit old so my computer was holding the drive back a bit. This contrasts to well over 350mb/s and 450mb/s read/write with my large SSD, and somewhere around 50/60 mb/s for my old regular HD.

Cons: The "duty cycle" for this drive is rated by seagate as "8/5", meaning they expect it to last the full 5 yr warranty period only if it is used around 8 hrs per day and 5 days per week, not left running 24/7. Hardcore gamers and power users who leave their computer running or doing something all the time will probably want to find a drive that is rated for 24/7 use.

Also, a larger SSD portion would let the drive put more games into the higher speed portion of the drive. It worked as expected for me but I was only using a couple of older games and a really big email file as I tested this drive out.

Other Thoughts: I would recommend this drive for anyone who has a computer with a smaller SSD for boot and programs, and wants a faster large data drive for game installations or other data. For someone who wants a bit more speed and doesn't need a huge amount of room, the 1TB or 2TB version of this drive would be a nice upgrade from their old conventional data HD.

For someone who wants overall system speed and responsiveness however, there isn't any real substitute for just buying a large 1TB or bigger SSD and putting everything on it, and thats why I'm giving this drive only 4 eggs. The prices of large SSDs are a lot higher than this hybrid drive, but they will be faster for everything, just just the most commonly used games. This SSHD simply isn't big enough or fast enough to address a broad range of applications, especially now that you can get 1TB SSDs that are faster for right around $300, and you can get huge data hard drives around 8GB. A 1TB or 2TB hybrid SSD isn't big enough for all your storage and isn't fast enough to really match pure SSD speeds, putting this drive (in my opinion) in a niche for people who don't need big storage and can't afford a big SSD, but want a faster data drive to decrease boot or game load times.

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Silicon Power 64GB Elite microSDXC UHS-I/U1 Class 10 Memory Card with Adapter, Speed Up to 85MB/s (SP064GBSTXBU1V20NE)
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

4 out of 5 eggs Decent card for the price but know what you are getting 07/19/2016

This review is from: Silicon Power 64GB Elite microSDXC UHS-I/U1 Class 10 Memory Card with Adapter, Speed Up to 85MB/s (SP064GBSTXBU1V20NE)

Pros: When I got this card I saw the other reviews and decided that I wasn't going to test this card in a camera, because of the write speeds. Frankly I didn't want to be disappointed. What I do have however, is a windows 10 tablet that has a microSD slot, and I use an SD card in that slot for user files. So my testing was done mostly on the windows 10 tablet.

First though, I verified the read/write speeds using my desktop computer to make sure my card was working well. Sure enough, I got results that are similar to other reviews.

Write speeds: 10-15MB/s
Read speeds: Small files 20-30MB/s, Large files 78MB/s

The read speeds are pretty respectable, and the write speeds are certainly fast enough for many consumer level cameras however they would not do too well in a large format digital camera and would limit the camera's ability to shoot photos in bursts.

I then copied my tablet user files onto the new card, and put it into the tablet. The tablet uses just a fairly slow Atom processor, so read/write speeds were somewhat lower. In the tablet I saw write speeds around 10MB/s and read speeds around 50MB/s. the thing is, this SD card was plenty fast enough to play videos while simultaneously transferring other files to and from the card, which makes it plenty fast enough to use as extra user file storage on a windows tablet. In fact, it was faster than the older microSD card I had been using so I've switched to primarily using this SD card and the old one will become a backup.

Cons: The major con for this card is slow write speeds. For the price, you probably shouldn't expect anything more. Get a true high-end card if you need fast write speeds for burst photography or higher resolution video capture.

Other Thoughts: Overall, for the price I recommend this card for either casual consumer-camera use or for extra storage on portable devices with microSD slots like windows tablets. While write speeds aren't super awesome, most users probably notice read speeds more when using their computers/devices and that's where this card works just fine.

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ASUS RP-AC56 AC1200 Wireless Dual-Band Repeater / Access Point/Media Bridge
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

4 out of 5 eggs Overall good features and performance, but with some flaws 06/12/2016

This review is from: ASUS RP-AC56 AC1200 Wireless Dual-Band Repeater / Access Point/Media Bridge

Pros: Up front, I’ll say that this WiFi extender has lots of great features and the performance to support the features it offers.

802.11ac support is pretty much expected now, but this extender offers a few other nice features. The most interesting options in my opinion is the ability to use the 2.4 and 5ghz radios separately for either connecting to the main wireless router or the clients. For example, if range or walls are a problem, you can use 2.4ghz just for the connection from the main router to the extender and 5ghz from the extender to the clients. Alternately, you can maximize router bandwidth to the extender using 5ghz, and then just 2.4ghz to the clients. Or you can extend both, which is the default configuration. There is also a mode specifically intended to provide a repeater for commercial wifi services, however I wasn’t able to test this specifically and I assume it will only be effective for some commercial services.

I found the setup menus to be fairly straightforward as well, however getting to those settings deserves some negative comments in the cons section. While I was able to get this extender set up and configured with a new password within minutes, I did it in a manner that was completely undocumented in the included setup guide and using only the setup guide would leave the router completely open to intrusion.

Cons: The setup instructions are not only incomplete, they completely omit critical steps and don’t have anything to say about manual setup options. The setup instructions consist of a small fanfold pamphlet that pretty much say to press the WPS buttons and that’s it, everything is good to go! There are 2 huge omissions there however. First and worst, the setup instructions say nothing about the need to change the default username/password and are even pretty vague on HOW to get into the configuration utility to do so. Second, the setup assumes everyone uses WPS and doesn’t list the default ip address for the device. I guessed that if I plugged it in and didn’t configure it with WPS, it would default to 192.168.0.1, and sure enough it did. From there, setting it up was easy. However I simply wouldn’t expect most people to be able to get there by just guessing, and the fact that following just the quick setup instructions would leave it unsecured is a huge omission. Of course, if you’ve read this review then you’ll be able to fix it so whether this is a big deal or not is up to the buyer.

Another drawback that is mentioned by other reviewers is the fact that the extender will block both power outlets in a standard wall outlet plate. The plug can be rotated 90 degrees to help in some situations where space may be tight, however the extender still blocks both outlets in every possible orientation. This could be a big deal depending on your personal requirements.

The raised reset button on the front has also been mentioned and I agree it’s a poor design.

One thing that simply did not work was the automatic firmware update process. Although there was an available firmware update at the ASUS site, the automatic updater failed with an error message. After I manually updated the firmware, the automatic updater continued to fail with the same error message.

Other Thoughts: The extender does what it says it does, and as long as you go beyond the overly-simplified setup instructions and dig into the setup page to configure at least a new password, it meets my needs for a wifi extender. The ability to selectively choose which radio to use for clients and back to the main router is a very nice feature that isn’t offered by other WiFi extenders I’ve used before.

The extender housing blocking both power outlets may be more of a problem for some people. Along with the exposed reset button, its just a bad design. Interestingly, there is a real on/off rocker switch for this extender which is a nice feature, however instead of being in a convenient location it is hidden on the bottom. ASUS – please fire the guy who designed the enclosure or at least don’t let that person or team design anything else. The power switch should be on top or on the side, the reset button should be recessed, and the device shouldn’t block both electrical outlets (duh).

If you can accept the enclosure design flaw and are able to go beyond the included incomplete setup instructions, then the other features of this WiFi extender are actually pretty compelling. The online radio feature which can output internet radio through an audio jack on the side of the extender is a neat feature too, since you could set this up outside in an entertaining area, connect it to some amplified speakers, and control it through an app on your smartphone or tablet. The advanced setup options seem fairly complete, giving lots of options to customize the feature set. I think this extender deserves 4 eggs and a positive recommendation, based on the technical features and performance I got with it. Unfortunately the physical design and omission of complete setup instructions may make other options look better depending on your needs and technical knowledge.

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Sean L.'s Profile

Display Name: Sean L.

Date Joined: 09/24/03

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  • First Review: 11/06/04
  • Last Review: 09/25/16
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