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Dean M.

Dean M.

Joined on 10/11/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 13
Most Favorable Review

Battle of the "Eco" drives

Western Digital WD Green WD10EADS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
Western Digital WD Green WD10EADS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: This is a review for those who are looking to buy inexpensive, low heat, low noise "Eco" drives to use for mass storage. Many of us who have terrabytes of digital media are looking for purely mass depot drives, and not something to dump an OS on. I've run both the Samsung Ecogreen and now the WD Greenpower drives as storage/streaming drives. At 5400 RPM, these drives easily can handle a 1080p/Bluray stream to at least 2 devices. So, compared to the Samsung Ecogreen 1TB, the WD Greenpower 1TB: -Definitely runs a few degrees celsius hotter. In my 4 bay raid array, when not in spindown, the WD sits at about 38-39C versus 32-34 for the Samsungs. At idle, with platters spun down, the WD is just 1-2C hotter, a tie for all purposes. - The WD is as close to silent as you can get. The Samsung Ecogreen have a distinct whirl for spin up and spin down of the drives, and an audible click when first starting up. The WD Greenpower is basically silent, whether it be spin-up, spin-down, or acc

Cons: I experienced a disk failure in the first day of using my greenpower drives. So my success ratio is: Samsung Ecogreen 5/5. All drives have run flawlessly WD Greenpower 4/5. One drive failed in the first day. It's possibly this was a fluke, but I've got to know down an egg for this.

Overall Review: You can't go wrong with either drive. If low heat is more important to you, go for the Samsung. If low noise is important, go for the WD. Performance is pretty much as wash between these drives.

Most Critical Review

Somewhat Misleading

ASRock 890FX DELUXE5 AM3+ AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
ASRock 890FX DELUXE5 AM3+ AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: Onboard buttons for CMOS Clear/Power. USB3 3.5" sled included with adapter for rear panel. Good power management features.

Cons: The rear eSATA port is not actually an independent port. It is switched with one of the internal sata ports. If you mount the eSATA drive, it will BSOD or kick one of your internal SATA drives. If you plan on using all your SATA ports, be wary of this. I've never once used a board from any other manufactured that behaved this way. The eSATA should have it's own channel or controller so that it does not potentially interfere with your internal drives. This kind of cost cutting should not be on a $180 motherboard. Another con is that the onboard PWM fan controller for the CPU fan does not ramp down my fan enough, even at the lowest level. The fan is running at about 80% RPM even with a lower power CPU that barely generates any heat and never goes about 40C.

Overall Review: The board seems stable so far, but there are some quirks that should make people hesitate at spending $180 on this board. If you need the cutting edge AM3+ support, then it might be worth it.

Great for a home server

SUPERMICRO MBD-X10SL7-F-O Micro ATX Server Motherboard LGA 1150 Intel C222 DDR3 1600
SUPERMICRO MBD-X10SL7-F-O Micro ATX Server Motherboard LGA 1150 Intel C222 DDR3 1600

Pros: Loads of features make it a great all purpose home server. Micro-ATX allows you to build it into smaller enclosures. Dual *Intel* nics and a dedicated IPMI port allows you to run the box headless. Built in LSI SAS adapter for a total of 14 SATA ports.

Cons: Some weird design / layout decisions on the part of supermicro. -The 4-pin cpu fan header is in the far corner of the board next to the SATA ports. - The onboard USB plug is very close to the cpu/heatsink. If you are using a larger USB stick then it will probably interfere with anything but a stock intel cooler. Also, my board shipped with a newer version of the BIOS than what is available on Supermicro's support site. Not a big deal, but worry some if the need to re-flash the bios arrises. If you are used to fine tuning BIOS settings in high end consumer motherboards, you'll need to adjust your expectations. Supermicro builds boards for stability and 24/7 operation, so you're likely to find much less customization than a gaming board.

Overall Review: I'm running this as a FreeNAS 9.1.1 server with jails for Plex / Pfsense etc. You'll need to flash the LSI adapter bios to IT mode if you want to pass the drives to the OS in HBA mode. Highly recommended if you plan to run FreeNAS / ZFS / or any other software RAID configuration. Overall, this board is a great value. It's incredibly difficult to beat the feature/cost ratio of this board. If you have not used IPMI, you'll find it quite finicky, but an incredibly useful tool at the same time.

10/30/2013

Spectacular

PENTAX smc P-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited Telephoto Lens - Black
PENTAX smc P-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited Telephoto Lens - Black

Pros: Superb Build Quality, Small, Lightweight, Full-Frame (35mm), Incredibly Sharp, Fast Aperture, Excellent contrast and color reproduction.

Cons: Expensive.

Overall Review: It is hard to find any true faults with this lens once you accept the price of entry. It is a sensational lens to use, and renders beautiful images. It may not have the fastest Autofocus, but you would be hard pressed to not have a blast shooting with this lens. It has a somewhat quirky focal length (77mm), physical aperture ring, and great 'feel' to the manual focusing ring. I highly recommend this lens to anyone who can appreciate and expertly crafted photographic tool that has stellar performance.

Solid

G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3L 1600 (PC3L 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2
G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3L 1600 (PC3L 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2

Pros: Runs cool to the touch at 1.25V, low power consumption.

Cons: Ugly. Wish it was a cleaner design.

Overall Review: I bought this RAM based on the low voltage, as it is going to be used in a 24/7 file server. I was surprised at how much cooler it ran than my 1.5V sticks that it replaced. If you are concerned about power consumption, and was to build a cool and silent box, this is probably your best bet.

The most reliable and inexpensive option

SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 ST2000DL004 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 ST2000DL004 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: Inexpensive, Low Noise, Low Power Consumption, Low vibration. 0 DOA drives out of 14. Reliable

Cons: As a green drive, you are trading raw performance for Heat/Power/Noise characteristics. As long as you go into the purchase knowing this, there should be no complaints about performance. These drives are exceptional performers for the purpose they are designed for.

Overall Review: I now have 14 of these drives running on various systems, including an Ubuntu file server, a QNAP NAS, and an Opensolaris ZFS/iSCSI server. All of the drives are in various RAID configurations and are running 24/7. 0/14 Drives arrived DOA, which is pretty miraculous in the current climate of unreliable high density hard disks. I've had 0 disk failures thus far ( and that included a 50+ hour 12TB continuous population of a 9 disk volume ). I've used Seagate/WD/Hitachi in the past, and I've had DOA's and issues with all of them. Right now I couldn't be more content with the Samsungs. I couldn't conceive of a better example of a "no-brainer" right now.

11/24/2010