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GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming 5 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: The board is beautiful a matte black with red accents. Decently placed PCI-Express ports allowing for tripple slot graphics cards.
My 4770k is as stable when overclocked on this board as on my Z87 board.
M.2 Slot (only PCI-Express 2x)
SATA-Express.
Alot of USB 3.0, and 2.0 ports.
Killer 2200 is nice the software can however be flacky.
Moving from a different branded Z87 motherboard to this was pretty painless, swapped my board and booted up Windows and installed the latest drivers I downloaded from their site beforehand.

Cons: M.2 And SATA-Express cannot be used at the same time, but I haven't seen any SATA-Express drives.
The motherboard is not a full ATX motherboard, It is full length but not full width. it only uses 6 out of the normal 9 ATX motherboard standoff's which can make some cable wiring if you have holes in your motherboard tray a bit challenging.
Only 6 SATA 6Gb's ports many other motherboard have another 2 SATA ports on another controller.
The motherboard heat sinks are rather cheaply attached used two diagonal spring pressured screws allowing for a lot of wobble, they should be attached using 4 screws to be secure.
Clear CMOS jumper, instead of being a switch or a push button like it is on many other enthusiast motherboard this one is still a jumper, in addition while their are dual BIOS I cannot figure out where a BIOS switch is to change from BIOS A to BIOS B is, if there even is one. I needed to use this at one point on my old board.
Front Panel USB 3.0 header is perpendicular to the motherboard, not horizontal which bugs me for cable management.
Also I honestly don't think PCI ports are of any value anymore, and aesthetically it is not very pleasing to look at, but it is covered up with my second GTX 770. The PCI port will take a 64bit PCI card (not electrically but physically as parts of the motherboard to not interfere)

Other Thoughts: Bottom PCI-Express port is wired 2.0 @ 4x.
No problems with RAM clearance with normal heigher RAM and a NH-D14, the front fan is above the first 2 RAM slots so you will have to remove the fan to install and remove the first two RAM slots.

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D-Link DSP-W215 Wi-Fi Smart Plug, Thermal Protection, Energy Management
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: For me setting up the SmartPlug was a painless experience. I plugged it into the wall, and added a lamp that I wanted to control to it. I downloaded the D-Link SmartPlug app on my phone, it automatically turned on my wireless radio on my phone and found the D-Link SmartPlug and connected to it. I was then notified that there was a software update available, which I allowed to install, after that I selected my wireless network from a list, and input the password and I was done.

When you first setup the unit it asks you to choose from a list of pre populated names (like Lamp) or select a custom device to match what you have plugged in, this way when you run the app and have multiple devices it is easy to know what is what.

I could then use the app on my phone to turn off and on the lamp.
This device allows you to set a schedule to turn on and off at set times which can be difference for every day. I personally set my lamp to turn on in the morning M-F and turn off an hour later. It has worked flawlessly thus far for 2 weeks, and when I need more lighting I open the app on my phone and turn it on.

Before I was using this manual timer but it was terrible and rather unpredictable, this device is so worth it to me, it has saved me a lot of hassle.

I am able to turn off and on my lamp remotely through the D-Link App (I used my existing D-Link account), so you could use this to turn on and off various other appliances when away from the house. I did not have to manually set any firewall settings.
The app also lists the temperature and the current wattage being used by the device plugged in. The temperature sensor doesn't seem quite right, it seems to run a bit high for me but as it is inside the unit it is probably picking up little bit of heat the unit is making as well.

Cons: As I said above the temperature sensor seems to be inaccurate for judging room temperature, but more of the temperature inside of the device.
I do wish the unit was also smaller. I at least would probably be unable to fit two of them side by side in the same outlet.

Other Thoughts: Overall I am very satisfied with this product. The small cons are not enough to dock one egg off to me.

There is no web interface on this device which again is not a big deal but figured I would mention it.

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TP-LINK TL-WA854RE 300Mbps Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender, Repeater, Wall Plug design, One-button Setup, Smart Signal Indicator
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: I have this device (WA853RE) and a WA850RE. Both of these units are pretty much identical. in terms of performance and appearance.
This unit has slightly better signal strength than the WA850RE (about 8-9dBm) which would be reflected in slight better coverage and speed.
The included instructions are well written. The unit is very easy to setup if using WPS. If you intend on doing a manual setup keep in mine the username and password are admin, admin. and the default IP address of this unit is 192.168.0.254.
This unit's performance as I said earlier is almost identical to the WA850RE, it gives me coverage in dead / almost dead zones in my house, keep in mind placing this unit inside of a dead zone will not help give you a better signal, is has to be in a spot with coverage. In places where I would get download speeds between 0-150kB/s, I now get my full speed of 2000kB/s. its a HUGE difference. Prior to the range extender I would connect to the router at 5.5-11Mbits/s, 24Mbits/s if I was lucky. and Now I get 150Mbits/s +.

Cons: This unit does not come with a built in Ethernet port. This means you cannot, connect a printer or computer directly to the unit as you can in the WA850RE, so it has slightly less flexibility.

The included CD is a small CD, you will not be to put it into a slot loading CD/DVD drive as I will get stuck.

Other Thoughts: I have not experienced any of the issues some other reviewers have been having like issues with entering the wireless password, or the device locking up when configuring static IP vs DHCP, or any other settings.
I am not using this device for high bandwidth applications (large local fire transfers) It is only being used for internet access on a 20Mb connection, where I do not see any decrease in speeds comparing it to my primary router. There is some slight overhead in terms of latency but it is negligible.

As in real estate what is more important with these devices is location, location, location. If you place a range extender where your get poor coverage do not expect any improvements for your connected devices. Place this device where you get decent coverage / signal strength (not right next to the wireless router though). This may take several attempts. Mine are located a little close getting about 80% signal strength, however because this range extender is on a different floor then the router I end up getting better range as there are less objects that it needs to penetrate in order to reach the locations when I need signal, resulting in faster connects and better overall experience when browsing the web.

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Peter C.'s Profile

Display Name: Peter C.

Date Joined: 03/04/05

  • Reviews: 56
  • Helpfulness: 26
  • First Review: 04/06/05
  • Last Review: 07/17/14
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