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Thomas S.

Thomas S.

Joined on 01/04/03

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 10
Most Favorable Review

Low wattage, moderate speed, great s/w

Synology DS411J Diskless System DiskStation 4-bay NAS Server for Small Office and Home Use
Synology DS411J Diskless System DiskStation 4-bay NAS Server for Small Office and Home Use

Pros: Installed with 4xSamsung 204UI 2TB drives as a RAID5 array. + low power usage, 33W writing data, 31W serving video, 14W idle with disks hibernated, 0W when turned off, measured with Kill-a-WattEZ connected between plug and wall socket + quiet and cool running, the external "brick" power supply moves heat out of the unit + nice and small, you can put it anywhere + easy to use wizard for installing the OS on the NAS and getting it set up +++ great browser-based, desktop-like management software with control panel, resource monitor, file browser, etc. + lots of apps you can optionally enable, UpnP server, iTunes server, web server, security cam support, etc. The ones I tried - windows file server, UpnP server, iTunes all worked well although I did not see any way to transfer playlists to the iTunes server + telnet support and available ipkg bootstrap for techies that want to play with this as a linux server (may void sw warr'y) + schedulable sleep/wake and disk hibernate timeout

Cons: - no wake-on-LAN, I did not notice this in the specs until the unit was on the delivery truck - file transfer speed was moderate at best - in my tests at best about 38MB/s, generally about 25MB/s, and less than half the speed of copying the same file from the same source to a windows PC on the same switch as the 411j.

Overall Review: It took a really long time to init the disks, for me it was about 13 hours. But it actually parity-tested all 8TB in the process, so that was OK with me. telnet-based testing (best perf at 8k blocks e.g. time dd if=/dev/urandom b[lock]s[size]=8192 count=125000 of=/volume1/testdata/synth/1Gbr.8k.file) seems to show the performance limits are internal, as this nearly pegs the cpu and runs at about 44MB/s. Way below the native speed capability of the drive I actually returned this in favor of a diskless DS411+ for a bit less than twice the $, a bit more than twice the speed, about 7 to 10 watts more actual measured power use, all the same software-related pluses, plus WOL, plus an esata port. And I was able to transfer the disks without losing data. But the listing for that unit seems to be missing on NE right now. PS newegg made me alter the true command syntax above because of filter thus in b[lock]s[size] you need to drop the []'ed parts.

Most Critical Review

Failed after 10 weeks

hec Raptor500 500 W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready Passive PFC Power Supply
hec Raptor500 500 W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready Passive PFC Power Supply

Pros: It didn't destroy the rest of my PC when it failed.

Cons: Failed after 10 weeks - just wouldn't wake up the morning. Supplied enough power to spin the fans and one drive - but no CPU, no video, and no clear indication of the cause. Swap in an Antec PS: problem solved.

Overall Review: The claim of 80000 MTBF seems "likely to a bit overstated" (by which I mean, fraudulent) given that mine had about 500 power-on hours before it gave up...

10/12/2008

Failed in two weeks

GIGABYTE X570 AORUS MASTER (rev. 1.2) AMD Ryzen 3000 PCIe 4.0 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.2 AMD X570 ATX Motherboard
GIGABYTE X570 AORUS MASTER (rev. 1.2) AMD Ryzen 3000 PCIe 4.0 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.2 AMD X570 ATX Motherboard

Pros: + can flash BIOS without an older gen CPU + 3 M.2 4gen slots, very fast + optional extra sensors

Cons: - failed in two weeks - system just died - does not settle on an unambiguous error code when trying to POST; it keeps switching between the two copies of BIOS and trying again, then settles for a few seconds on a "reserved" error code, switches and tries again...; lights up the DRAM LED even though tried with two different sets of DRAM, including a brand new pair, BOTH SETS STILL PASS memtest86 in another system - the layout does not really leave any second 16x slot available after you install a 3.7 slot monster (RTX 3090), only the last slot which impacts on necessary connectors on the edge of the board

Overall Review: ~ if you don't have a Matisse CPU lying around and want to use a Vermeer (4th gen, 5000 series) it's a tossup as to whether the board has a compatible BIOS; you need "qflash" or equivalent to eliminate the risk of not being able to complete the build; this is one of relatively few boards that has it.

Excellent choice to replace stock cooler, despite damage from the factory

Titan TTC-NA02TZ/RPW/CU30 95mm Z-AXIS Copper Cooler for socket 1150,1155 & 1156
Titan TTC-NA02TZ/RPW/CU30 95mm Z-AXIS Copper Cooler for socket 1150,1155 & 1156

Pros: Whisper quiet Fits in the stock cooler footprint Does not require you to get behind the mobo 15-20C cooler than the stock cooler on a core i3-7100

Cons: The plastic pins were shipped fully depressed, so that the wings that need to go though and hook under the mobo were spread as wide as they can go... and they stayed that way after I pulled the pins back up. UNACCEPTABLE. I'm sure it would be hard-to-impossible to coax all four sets to go through the mobo... so i replaced all the pins with fresh ones that had been abused. Whoever is sabotaging the product that way in the factory: should be fired.

Overall Review: Highly recommended for processor within its rated capacity to cool. The i3-7100, rated at 51W TDP (and actually running below that) is a very comfortable fit as this cooler is rated for 70W. Just be sure you have some spare pins on hand.

Sounds like a hair dryer

SILVERSTONE SST-AR09-115XP 60mm 2 Ball CPU Cooling
SILVERSTONE SST-AR09-115XP 60mm 2 Ball CPU Cooling

Pros: Fits in the stock cooler footprint Doesn't make you get behind the mobo

Cons: Little fan runs fast, at its slowest, and sounds like a hair dryer: LOUD

Overall Review: Not recommended. I de-installed and discarded.

Correction to my review

Synology DS411J Diskless System DiskStation 4-bay NAS Server for Small Office and Home Use
Synology DS411J Diskless System DiskStation 4-bay NAS Server for Small Office and Home Use

Pros: see other thoughts and my prior review

Cons: see other thoughts and my prior review

Overall Review: I pasted in the wrong command line in my other thoughts point about telnet-based testing. As of course /dev/urandom is horribly slow itself such result would be meaningless; but the 44MB/s that I reported was for a source of /dev/zero not /dev/urandom.