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Michael M.

Michael M.

Joined on 11/16/10

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 22
Most Favorable Review

NAS-Optimized, Fast Read/Write Throughput, High Capacity

WD Se WD3000F9YZ 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Datacenter Capacity Hard Drive
WD Se WD3000F9YZ 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Datacenter Capacity Hard Drive

Pros: The drive claims to be optimized for NAS, so the most important factor, other than reliability, will be how fast it can access files (14 msec) and how fast it can read/write (leaning more towards read). The drive has a burst of throughput at the start of file transfers which gradually declines in speed in a straight line. Therefore, I'll start by listing the read rate from the start of the benchmark to the read rate at the end of the benchmark. Each setting is with 1,000 files. Palimpsest Read Benchmark (reads continuously without interupption): 1,000 1MiB files = 200MB/sec -> 146 MB/sec 1,000 10MiB files = 180MB/sec -> 144 MB/sec 1,000 25MiB files = 180MB/sec -> 144 MB/sec 1,000 50MiB files = 180MB/sec -> 144 MB/sec I'm sure you know where this is going. As for sequential writing, it is roughly ~10-20MB/sec slower than the read throughput. When performing the sequential read/write tests, the read and write speed both suffer greatly. It starts at 180MB/sec then quickly drops to 140MB/sec within seconds and slowly declines to ~110MB/sec by the time it reaches the 1,000th file.

Cons: There is nothing bad to say about the product other than the expensive price ($200 currently) and the expectedly poor random read/write performance which is typical of magnetic hard drives. People who are looking for high performance in regards to random read/write throughput, however, buy SSDs, so this isn't a problem.

Overall Review: Although many people use NTFS partitioning because that is the only thing Windows supports, I do highly recommend using btrfs or ext4 instead as it is more efficient and removes the need for defragging. Many NAS-related products support drives with btrfs/ext partitioned drives which are presented to your network via samba so that Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, iOS, and Android clients can access it. Personally, I've copied my entire 1.7TB media archive to this 3TB drive, which only took a few hours to rsync. I use the system as a Linux samba server which also serves many machines running distributed x264/ffmpeg/aac encoding. This drive suits this purpose fine.

Most Critical Review

Wireless Functionality Borderline Worthless

Seagate Wireless Plus STCK1000100 1TB Mobile Device Storage with Built-In Wi-Fi Streaming
Seagate Wireless Plus STCK1000100 1TB Mobile Device Storage with Built-In Wi-Fi Streaming

Pros: I will make this review simple to read and understand; it is not fun to read entire walls of text. * The drive may connect wirelessly to your network for connection from any smartphone, tablet, or computer. However, see cons. * The drive may last for a temporary amount of time without needing to be plugged in which makes it easy to move without disturbing those connected to it wirelessly. * It has an adapter to be used solely for USB3 connectivity, however in doing so it does disable wifi functionality when plugged into a computer. This is the only useful method of utilizing this product to full potential (average 100MiB/s with large video transfers, same speeds as the Seagate Backup Plus 1TB USB3 portable)

Cons: * It is not foolproof; In order to get it connected to your network and accessible from your computers that have a wired connection, it requires a bit of knowledge in networking to get configured. First the user must access the webpage from a computer by wirelessly connecting to the device via a laptop, then you must click on the wifi icon and link it to your existing wireless access point (probably your router), you must find the IP address of the seagate wireless hard drive (It should have received a DHCP address from your router), finally you must navigate to your network in your file browser and mount the drive. * The wireless functionality on tablets/smartphones is barely functional from a software perspective which is greatly lacking in compatibility. There is no support for the open document format, perhaps the most used format in the open world, so it will report to your devices that no documents exist if you put your open document files here. It also does not support a wide variety of video formats, with my biggest complaint being that it does not support the most used format (MKV). With default settings I was unable to get any videos to play with any of my three Android devices that were in MP4 format. * Wireless transfer rate is incredibly slow (At most 22.4Mbps on a 450Mbps wifi connection [WD MyNet N900 HD Dual Band Router]; 2.8MiB/s). I would never be able to bare this transfer rate on a hard drive. This makes the capability to stream HD video content awkward (only low quality video or highly compressed video). * Cannot open files from within the webpage on a computer, it downloads them in your browser and opens them locally. * USB3 cable is a bit short (a little over a foot), so it can be complicated to place it.

Overall Review: I find no compelling reason to buy this product over the Seagate 1TB USB3 portable hard drive. The added wifi capabilities are severely lacking. There is absolutely no reason to choose to use this wirelessly over plugging it into the computer and sharing it across the network via samba or Windows' internal share feature.

Excellent Linux Support and 2400 DPI 8.5x11" Scanning

HP Envy 4500 ISO speeds: Up to 6 ppm Black Print Speed 4800 x 1200 dpi Color Print Quality WiFi 802.11n HP Thermal Inkjet MFC / All-In-One Color Printer
HP Envy 4500 ISO speeds: Up to 6 ppm Black Print Speed 4800 x 1200 dpi Color Print Quality WiFi 802.11n HP Thermal Inkjet MFC / All-In-One Color Printer

Pros: I will admit that the main reason that I purchased this printer was due to the scanner contained within this unit. It's capable of scanning at 1200 DPI (2400 DPI software-enhanced) which makes this exceptionally vital for high quality scanning of documents. I simply opened Simple Scan, adjusted preferences to 1200 DPI, hit scan and within a minute or two it had scanned a document in such high quality that you can't tell the difference between the original and the scanned version after printing the scanned document. It also works amazingly well with Linux and the GNOME Desktop Environment, which automatically added/configured the printer as soon as I plugged it in without needing to install any additional drivers. That's one of the things that I love about Linux in regards to printers: plug it in and it just works -- especially HP printers. Toss out that driver CD into the trash if you're using Linux because it's not needed.

Cons: The only thing I dislike about the unit is that it's not a CISS printer and it requires the usage of tri-color ink cartridges. CISS printers are far more economical than either laser or cartridge inkjets as they feature ink tanks on the side that can be refilled with ink bottles without needing to open the printer up to replace a costly cartridge which adds electronic waste to the environment. As a result, I'll give it 4 stars instead of 5. It's great, but it's not perfect.

World Class 6TB Magnetic Hard Drive

Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD 6TB 7200 RPM 512e SATA 6Gb/s 128MB-Cache 3.5-Inch Hard Disk Drive (ST6000NM0024)
Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD 6TB 7200 RPM 512e SATA 6Gb/s 128MB-Cache 3.5-Inch Hard Disk Drive (ST6000NM0024)

Pros: The first thing I did when I received the drive is to format the drive with Btrfs, XFS, and Ext4 (currently using kernel 3.14.4), configured the disk to use deadline disk scheduling, and installed the Phoronix Test Suite with all of it's disk benchmarking utilities. Countless hours of benchmarking and rebenchmarking ensued. Regarding temperature of the drive, it runs rather cool at 37C at room temperature (2C higher than my 3TB hard drive) while under heavy load and does not seem to make a sound at all from my perspective. This is a great win for cutting down the need for cooling, space and energy if you are running entire arrays of these drives. First off, here is a quick benchmark using hdparm for obtaining the maximum read speed, and dd for getting sequential write speeds at various sizes with different file systems. This gives a rough idea of exactly how fast this hard drive is at different levels of workload. hdparm [Read Test] 210.31 MB/sec In order to get the most accurate readings from dd, I ran dd through a timed bash shell that makes sure to sync the cache to the disk before exiting. dd [Write Test - 500,000 count] Btrfs 1k = 119.24 MB/sec 2k = 147.74 MB/sec 4k = 186.37 MB/sec 8k = 203.90 MB/sec 16k = 213.71 MB/sec 32k = 215.25 MB/sec XFS 1k = 143.02 MB/sec 2k = 164.34 MB/sec 4k = 186.18 MB/sec 8k = 202.98 MB/sec 16k = 210.62 MB/sec 32k = 215.82 MB/sec Ext4 1k = 119.43 MB/sec 2k = 145.06 MB/sec 4k = 172.71 MB/sec 8k = 195.58 MB/sec 16k = 206.08 MB/sec 32k = 208.92 MB/sec Both Btrfs and XFS came very close to each other, performance-wise. XFS is a popular choice for use in enterprise environments due to it's stability and features that make it suitable for scaling out to massive arrays. However, Btrfs is becoming increasingly relevant and boasts even better features over XFS. Considering Ext4 lost to Btrfs and XFS, and it is more suitable for a desktop rather than a server, I have omitted Ext4 from this point forward. The following benchmarks are carried out in competition against XFS and Btrfs to show the capabilities of the drive in both setups. Each test is run three times and the results are averaged. AIO-Stress v0.21 [Random Write] XFS = 1405.97 MB/sec Btrfs defaults = 1910.19 MB/sec Btrfs compress=lzo = 1977.16 MB/sec FS-Mark v3.3 XFS 1000 Files, 1MB Size = 29.53 Files/sec 5000 Files, 4 Threads = 51.40 Files/sec Btrfs defaults 1000 Files, 1MB Size = 25.5 Files/sec 5000 Files, 4 Threads = 45.6 Files/sec Btrfs compress=lzo 1000 Files, 1MB Size = 30.17 Files/sec 5000 Files, 4 Threads = 74.17 Files/sec PostMark v1.51 XFS = 2688 TPS Btrfs defaults = 2631 TPS Btrfs compress=lzo = 2640 TPS IOzone v3.405 [Record Size: 4Kb - File Size 8GB - Disk Test: Write Performance] XFS = 162.09 MB/sec Btrfs defaults = 201.26 MB/sec Btrfs compress=lzo = 826.68 MB/sec For the rest of the benchmarks, see 'Other Thoughts'.

Cons: It's not the fastest hard drive out there. I've seen a 10K RPM drive achieve slightly higher performance. However, it's still very fast, and at this point, as cheap as SSDs are, it's better to use SSDs for heavy read/write and magnetic hard drives for archival. Magnetic hard drives are having a hard time being competitive with SSDs in that realm, considering you can now obtain a 1TB SSD for about the same price as this hard drive today.

Overall Review: Threaded I/O Tester v0.3.3 [Random Write - Size Per Thread: 128MB - Thread Count: 8] XFS = 0.32 MB/s Btrfs defaults = 0.84 MB/sec Btrfs compress=lzo = 0.54 MB/sec Flexible I/O Tester v1.57 [Intel IOMeter File Server Access Pattern] XFS = 6006 seconds Btrfs defaults = 4881.60 seconds Btrfs compress=lzo = 4694.45 seconds DBench v4.0 XFS 1 Client = 19.04 MB/sec 6 Clients = 24.10 MB/sec Btrfs default 1 Client = 17.09 MB/sec 6 Clients = 54.90 MB/sec Btrfs compress=lzo 1 Client = 17.09 MB/sec 6 Clients = 54.90 MB/sec BlogBench v1.0 XFS Write = 1352 Final Score Read = 822,265 Final Score Btrfs defaults Write = 1263 Final Score Read = 785,395 Final Score Btrfs compress=lzo Write = 1201 Final Score Read = 794,469 Final Score Overall, Btrfs carries out the best performance. Benchmarks like FS-Mark and IOzone greatly benefitted from lzo compression, but others are had little change or actually had decreased performance. In regards to enterprise use, the only two filesystems I would recommend are XFS and Btrfs. Btrfs has recently become stable in the last few kernel releases, but XFS is still the more popular choice for stability. Both are capable of handling excessively large arrays of hard drives, and I quite like Btrfs's transparent compression and ability to instantly scale out to different RAID setups on the fly by just adding a hard drive partition or two and running the rebalance command. In the near future, Btrfs may become the most dominant filesystem -- it certainly is demonstrating that potential lately.

Near-perfect Micro-ATX Case Suitable for Gaming and Non-Gaming

Rosewill RANGER-M Dual-Fan Micro ATX Mini Tower Gaming Computer Case with Blue LED Lighting
Rosewill RANGER-M Dual-Fan Micro ATX Mini Tower Gaming Computer Case with Blue LED Lighting

Pros: This case does not feel cheap at all -- the materials are very high quality. There is enough room to fit my Radeon HD 7950 graphics card with a micro ATX AM3+ motherboard and a FX-8350, and running them at full blast without heating issues thanks to the great airflow. The case fans provided with the case are good enough to keep a gaming system cooled without needing to order any additional fans.

Cons: There are two problems with the case, however, and that is that the motherboard plate is not cut out on the back to allow easy access to the CPU backplate for effortlessly replacing heatsinks, and the case does not provide USB3.0 with a USB3.0 header.

Overall Review: s for cable management, I would highly recommend getting a power supply that is modular and keeping wire ties handy.

Highly Portable, Very Slow Transfer Rate

TP-Link AV600 Powerline Ethernet Adapter(TL-PA4010 KIT)- Plug&Play, Power Saving, Nano Powerline Adapter, Expand Home Network with Stable Connections
TP-Link AV600 Powerline Ethernet Adapter(TL-PA4010 KIT)- Plug&Play, Power Saving, Nano Powerline Adapter, Expand Home Network with Stable Connections

Pros: My conclusion is that this type of networking is not very efficient where bandwidth is a concern, as I expected. It is, however, very portable in that you can move to any room quickly in the house, even to great distances, without needing to worry about a wifi signal or running a cable.

Cons: Conclusion: In essence, this seems more like a temporary solution rather than a permanent solution. A good wireless access point or gigabit ethernet cable is a better solution for long-term equipment. The transfer rate (~5MiB/sec) is simply way too slow to be useful for any kind of heavy load. Latency: With the powerline adapter, I am getting 3.3 millisecond latency; with the gigabit RJ45 ethernet cable, I am getting 0.15 millisecond latency; finally, with wireless, I get 1 millisecond latency. Knowing this, having a network through the powerline in the house presents much higher latency thana normal wireless or wired connetion. However, the difference of a few milliseconds isn't much of a concern. Bandwidth: What truly matters with this product is how fast it can transfer data, how reliable it is, and how far it can reach. The machine I am reaching is physically ~80 feet from the outlet that the signal is originating from. At this distance, I am able to transfer at 4.6 MiB/sec. This isn't very fast, and one can argue that a wireless signal would be much faster. In regards to connection issues, I have none at all -- it's perfectly stable at this distance. I decided to check how fast it would be at an outlet close to the original source, I have tested it in two other outlets. The outlet I have in the living room is 30 feet from the original source; it is capable of 4.8 MiB/sec at this distance. At an outlet merely 15 feet from the source in the same room, I am capable of a quick burst of 25 MiB/sec which eventually levels out at 4.8 MiB/sec.

Overall Review: This is the variant with a 100 Mbps (12.5 MiB/sec) ethernet port. Considering how this is unable to reliably attain 100 Mbps speed, purchashing the gigabit variant (1000 mbps) would not be of any benefit.