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Todd L.

Todd L.

Joined on 01/10/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 106
Most Favorable Review

Good stuff, if you know what you're doing

Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound AS5-12G
Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound AS5-12G

Pros: I've been using this stuff for years, and it's the best TIM out there if you've got some heavy-duty cooling needs.

Cons: It's really messy. It also causes problems if you bridge electrical contacts. However, if you use this *very* sparingly (like you should), it generally doesn't become a problem.

Overall Review: I'm sure there's more exotic TIM out there, but this is the best bang-for-buck you're gonna find if your cooling needs are beyond the average OEM PC. Don't forget to let this stuff cycle a few times to seat properly - the particles needs to move around a little to properly seat and give the best performance.

Most Critical Review

Slightly misleading

Panasonic BL-C140A 640 x 480 MAX Resolution RJ45 Outdoor Network Camera
Panasonic BL-C140A 640 x 480 MAX Resolution RJ45 Outdoor Network Camera

Pros: It works and is built pretty solidly. It has its own web interface that you can add additional Panasonic cameras on the same network for a convenient multi-camera utility. It will also capture and store either a series of images or a short video clip (but not both) to some internal memory for retrieval later.

Cons: This camera is NOT fully 802.3af or 802.3at PoE compliant so don't plan on using a PoE switch to power this camera. You'll have to use the supplied power injector that puts power on the ethernet cable. Also, the camera is quite a bit bigger than I anticipated. The face is about 6" square and about 2.5" deep at the top. It's definitely not discreet. The low-light pickup on this camera isn't that great, either. I'm not sure if an IR lamp would do any good, but it could be worth a try. If you have any sort of backlight, the images get blown out pretty easily. It's best if the light is behind the camera and kept at a reasonable level so it doesn't light up a white wall, for instance. For an outdoor-capable camera, this could be difficult to do.

Overall Review: For an IP webcam, it's "mostly there." By itself, it'll let you watch the live feed. To do much of anything more, expect to buy some extra software. The images are decent, but controlling light is critical to get anything recognizable - too dark and it's grainy and indistinct, too bright and the image washes out. Next time, I'm going to pay extra for a better brand and model of camera.

Perfect application for SAS SSDs

ICY DOCK ToughArmor MB998IP-B Rugged Full Metal 8 Bay 2.5" SAS/SATA SSD&HDD (7mm) Backplane Cage for External 5.25" Bay
ICY DOCK ToughArmor MB998IP-B Rugged Full Metal 8 Bay 2.5" SAS/SATA SSD&HDD (7mm) Backplane Cage for External 5.25" Bay

Pros: Loads up to 8x 2.5" SATA or SAS SSDs or HDDs (no more than 7mm tall). Has a pair of HD Mini SAS connectors (SFF-8643) to make cabling easier. The drive trays are all metal and are quite durable for their size and construction.

Cons: The mounting screws for the outer cage seem to interfere with the inner trays such that the trays may not slide cleanly. Use short screws if you can. Due to the form factor, drives are limited to 7mm height.

Overall Review: I use this with an LSI 9300-8i HBA in my rather compact workstation tower so I can fit a bunch of 1TB SSDs in a single 5.25" bay. This unit will require an 8-port (or more) HBA or RAID card with appropriate connectors and cables (or a "reverse breakout" cable to work with onboard SATA connectors) since it doesn't have the usual batch of SATA style connectors.

Wicked fast

G.SKILL TridentZ Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C14D-32GTZKW
G.SKILL TridentZ Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C14D-32GTZKW

Pros: Runs at advertised specs using XMP, even on an AMD platform. In computationally-intense applications, it's a benefit to have both higher speeds and lower latency settings. There's a LOT less memory bottleneck and lets the CPU work.

Cons: Cost of RAM is still a bit high but so are all the other brands/models.

Overall Review: I'm using in an ASUS C7H board with an overclocked and water-cooled Ryzen 2700X and it runs perfectly using the XMP settings (after making sure the rest of the CPU/RAM settings like voltage are ready for it).

Excellent once firmware is updated

INDOOR/OUTDOOR 4MP POE DAY
INDOOR/OUTDOOR 4MP POE DAY

Pros: The TV-IP314PI is a good "cheap" camera option for a DIY grounds surveillance system. Image quality is good-to-excellent in daylight conditions and adequate in zero-light conditions when the IR emitters are used. Easily powered via any PoE switch or injector (also has a 12v power pigtail if you want to go that route). Feeds are industry standard H.264 (and MJPEG for a substream) and supports RTSP. Once the firmware is up-to-date, the video feed will work directly in modern browsers. All the important parts are metal - the housing, the stem, and the base, in particular. The connections are weather-resistant, too.

Cons: Older firmware relied on a special browser plugin which modern browsers like Chrome don't support. Image quality could be a little better, particularly once the "nighttime mode" kicks in and the IR emitters turn on. There's also a bit of barrel distortion. The claimed 83 degree field-of-view doesn't really seem like 83 degrees (it looks more like 70ish at full resolution but that's still pretty wide for a bullet camera). Lastly, the included recording software is kinda clunky.

Overall Review: I've got a handful of these on the outside of my home and I've only had one fail (my fault on a bad FW update). They're mounted under the eaves out of the rain/snow but are otherwise exposed to winter temps as low as -20F and summer temps pushing 100F. They're fed with Cat6 back to the PoE switch - longest run is about 100 feet. In daylight conditions, they're pulling about 3 watts each. With the IR emitters on, they're pulling about 4.5 watts each. They link up at 100Mb. Since these output standard H.264 video and support RTSP, you can use just about any recording software package, which I highly recommend doing. I've got a home IT lab setup and a single, small VM with Video Insight is doing all the recording (motion activated in the software, not the camera). Overall, these are great for a basic setup and allow you to upgrade to better units as your budget allows.

Great AIO kit!

CORSAIR Hydro Series H100i Extreme Performance Water/Liquid CPU Cooler. 240mm
CORSAIR Hydro Series H100i Extreme Performance Water/Liquid CPU Cooler. 240mm

Pros: Easy to install. Provisioned for up to 4 fans (push/pull). LED can be programmed (via LINK software) for a variety of colors, including entirely off. With the right fans, it's VERY quiet.

Cons: Hoses are a bit on the short side. Stock fans should be swapped for better units.

Overall Review: I've been running one of these on an i7 4930k in an Obsidian 350D case for nearly 4 years and it does a stellar job. I've got the CPU clocked to 4.2GHz (up from 3.4GHz stock) and I've only ever seen the CPU package temps get to 60C under the heaviest of loads. I can only run one pair of fans when it's mounted at the top of my case as there's not enough room for a push/pull config up there. But even in just the push OR pull config, it's still more than adequate. The stock fans are decent, I guess, but there are better options out there. I tried Corsair's SP series fans but they rattle. I highly suggest going with 3rd-party fans that are meant for radiator duty. And be sure to get PWM connectors on them.