Joined on 05/21/02
Excellent Hard Drive, Solid.
Pros: Newegg product listing N82E16822178306, Seagate Constellation ES.3 ST4000NM0023 boasts as solid drive. I haven't visited Seagate's High-end product line since their departure from the 5-year warranty of standard consumer lines several years back and only have had two 1 TB models recently for video editing / capture ( RAID 0). Since some time has passed from owning a high-end Seagate product, I welcomed the opportunity to see what Seagate has been putting under the hood lately on their Pro line of hardware, especially one in the price range near a half grand. Even with a high price there are just some inherent advantages that SAS offers over SATA and I occasionally prefer offloading to a SAS CPU than having local system boards handling data so seeing what SAS2 is in comparison to consumer lines and SATA will be interesting. (Wiki offers a good starting place for the casual beginner when looking at SAS vs SATA and determining if one or the other is a good choice for and particular utilization if you are new to SAS). With Seagate's Pro lines, I'm seeing a toe-to-toe stance when dealing with their competition and perhaps even a little extra toe stomping when it comes to exceeding longevity and outliving the problems their competitors have on their Pro lines. The drive is smooth, well put together and operating quietly and surprisingly cool, when compared to other Seagate drives and competing brands. If you see the notes in the "Other Thoughts" section, you should notice that this SAS2 drive falls in line with pretty much the performance of SATA III 6.0 drives. Keep in mind that SAS offers drive controller intelligence that SATA does not; also, SAS has the ability to monitor backplanes via sideband cable options on most mid to high level SAS cards. SATA more often mimics monitoring via software solutions weighing the system down more so than SAS hardware solutions. Another big factor that stands out is the little amount of heat that this drive puts off. True, I'm not running SQL Server or Oracle DB on the drive, but given the fact that I am moving a 40GB chunk of data all over the drive for an hour, and it's doesn't really get warm, helps draw the conclusion that Seagate's enterprise class drives run cooler and can take on more tedious encounters on a 24/7/365 basis. Further, not a single sector showed any defect, skip or error after a pounding 24 hour testing session
Cons: With me, the only major and prohibitive hurdle Seagate has thrown me for Pro line models is the price for owning their products SATA or SAS models. In order to get a 5-year warranty, there is a considerable price point difference. With lesser warranty as compared to their competitors for consumer lines, I choose to look at warranty length, reviews / failure rate, customer service and price when buying into a product line for use in my equipment. With consumer lines you'll see a shortfall but no so with the Pro line models. Other than the above, I am not seeming much of any cons physically with the drive or performance. Still, I honestly have to admit, though impressive performance, at it's current price point it's not something that I'd personally jump at first sight, so do some research to make sure this is designed for YOUR specific needs; otherwise, a good SATA III 6.0 will offer close to the same performance. I might be tempted to burn through a handfull of cheaper drives in a 1 or 5 RAID array at a cheaper price and still be able to have a few spares on hand. With 3 and 5-year warranties for consumer line from Seagate and other competitors, some TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and performance/failure probability calculations may be in order to see what points work best for any given scenario.
Overall Review: Some important considerations for those getting into the SAS arena and Enterprise drives are as follows. Be aware that /w Seagate Constellation ES.3 ST4000NM0023 & many other SAS drives, you will need either a back plane or cable with supporting connection of SFF-8482 (SAS 29 PIN) and not standard SATA; though they look very similar, you won't be able to plug your data or power cables into the SAS drives as you would on SATA drives. StarTech offers cable solution part SAS808782P50 / UPC 65030848039 /w life time warranty that workes on SAS. SEE NE listing N82E16812400142, if needed. In my case, it was just a simple task of opening the side panel on rack, opening server chassis and unplugging my (Mini SAS) SFF-8087->SATA cables, swapping to SFF-8087->(29 pin SAS)SFF-8482 x4 cables and plugging the power into the Y pig tails. The particular SAS card used to drive my SAS array and SATA is a Highpoint RocketRAID 2720. Initially the BIOS didn't support over 2TB and the Seagate showed up as 2TB; flashed SAS controller to BIOS V1.5 and had no issues after that; it was a 3-second Flash fix, and everything went beautifully without issue and the drive just worked after that. Both, the HighPoint RocketRAID 2720 and the Seagate drive, worked well hand in hand. Some basic Drive Stats via HD Tune Pro 5.50: Configured as JOBD stand-alone. Test capacity: full Read transfer rate Transfer Rate Minimum : 84.0 MB/s Transfer Rate Maximum : 182.8 MB/s Transfer Rate Average : 144.9 MB/s Access Time : 12.3 ms Burst Rate : 227.1 MB/s CPU Usage : 5.1% Test capacity: full Write transfer rate Transfer Rate Minimum : 82.6 MB/s Transfer Rate Maximum : 183.8 MB/s Transfer Rate Average : 145.7 MB/s Access Time : 4.11 ms Test capacity: full, Read test Transfer size operations / sec avg. access time max. access time avg. speed 512 bytes 81 IOPS 12.296 ms 26.132 ms 0.040 MB/s 4 KB 83 IOPS 11.949 ms 27.584 ms 0.327 MB/s 64 KB 79 IOPS 12.628 ms 22.027 ms 4.949 MB/s 1 MB 48 IOPS 20.634 ms 67.447 ms 48.464 MB/s Random 60 IOPS 16.422 ms 97.053 ms 30.897 MB/s Burst Rate : 210.3 MB/s CPU Usage : 3.6% Extra Tests: Test capacity: full, Read Random seek 84 IOPS 11.962 ms 0.041 MB/s Random seek 4 KB 93 IOPS 10.761 ms 0.363 MB/s Butterfly seek 73 IOPS 13.779 ms 0.035 MB/s Random seek/size 64 KB 79 IOPS 12.724 ms 1.208 MB/s Random seek/size 8 MB 23 IOPS 43.907 ms 92.352 MB/s Sequential outer 2830 IOPS 0.353 ms 176.897 MB/s Sequential middle 2426 IOPS 0.412 ms 151.614 MB/s Sequential inner 1348 IOPS 0.742 ms 84.274 MB/s Burst rate 3634 IOPS 0.275 ms 227.133 MB/s Test capacity: full, Write Random seek 243 IOPS 4.110 ms 0.119 MB/s Random seek 4 KB 199 IOPS 5.033 ms 0.776 MB/s Butterfly seek 209 IOPS 4.779 ms 0.102 MB/s Random seek/size 64 KB 192 IOPS 5.197ms 2.958 MB/s Random seek/size 8 MB 21 IOPS 47.022ms 86.235 MB/s Sequential outer 2835 IOPS 0.353 ms 177.218 MB/s
TP-Link WDR3500 Unboxed
Pros: Settings Apply and Save time are quick compared to other routers I’ve used which nice for a change when you want to get on with the show. This router is good for basic home or small office use. The TP-Link WDR3500 has 2 good detachable antennas that are more in line with the 3G / 4G WAP quality devices sold for Version / Sprint. Detachable antennas are swivel and have 3 "locking" positions ( 0, 45, 90 degrees ). Small, low-profile, light, won't tear down your walls you hang it on and runs cool as well as sporting a small DC adapter that isn't your average wall wart; the power cord could be a foot or two longer though. Sturdy solid conductor Cat5e 26 AWG factory molded network cable provided in box; up until now, all my AP have had stranded cat5E with less quality given to their included network cables. The icons / lights on the front of the router actually made sense and are easy to see. All physical switches feel sturdy and have good tactile feel when using. WPS works great and with no problems with other WPS devices connecting to the router. The setup process was simple enough for someone working long 16-hour days; just pop the CD in and install right out of the box. I was pleasantly surprised at how fast it went and even wondered whether it was actually done in such a short time. WPS works great and with no problems with other WPS devices connecting to the router. On the router's USB port I tried SD Cards, a hard drive and printer, the card slots on printer were recognized immediately; the router also works with powered USB hubs allowing for more devices to be utilized on the single USB port on router. The USB print server was easy to set up. I chose one of my more difficult printers to setup on USB, just to see if the print server would catch it and work with it. The software just made it happen, which was a feat since I have been through 3 other routers with a much more involved process to get up and printing. I have to say that the print capability is a simple and viable solution. While I do not need to use the parental settings in the current environment it's deployed in, I see that the design in the software has a good and rounded potential for tailoring access, be it address/site-based or hardware-based; it provides options to explore and use. Access control provided a whole different ballpark of rule, host, target and schedule-based management which is more along the lines of what I use to control what devices are on my network and at what times. Access control can be great for blocking unwanted updates connections and downloads right in the middle of games, work or family movie time.
Cons: Under the USB FTP settings, the chosen passwords corresponding to the user accounts are not masked, which I consider a security flaw in the code. For security reasons, it should be apparent not to leave your router with the default password and only set up the USB FTP passwords once you have established some Wi-Fi encryption to avoid transmitting in the clear and preferably WPA/WPA2 & pass-phrase. There should be a patch modification created and rolled out to apply a mask to these “clear” passwords. Though some mid-range routers have Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) features allowing you to bridge routers / access points together for a greater area and functionality, I saw no such functionality in this model without the use of a 3rd-party AP/Ethernet device attached to the WAN port. It seems that this router does not like to play well with getting DHCP handed to it from another router, though it worked just fine with and AP/Ethernet device on the WAN port. I have 2 functioning routers, the first up from TP-Link acting as internal LAN and AP distribution connected up-stream to a border router acting as the demark and master Wi-Fi. The TP-link did not want to be subservient when connected via WLAN or LAN to the distribution router as it refused to be on the same subnet; unlike the rest of its neighbors, it didn't play well. My resolution was to move it upstream by one and have the border router manage DHCP and WAN for the TP-Link. The result was an operational TP-Link, full service. The WPS / factory reset button is easy to find, with the cons of it not being recessed and being the WPS / Factory reset all in one. Again, someone just holding WPS for too long (about 7 seconds) could bring it down back to factory defaults, which can make for a little headache reloading things as you had them. To help reduce headaches, the "System Tools" and "Backup & Restore" option can give you back a piece of mind for protection and restores, as long as you remember to do it. The router can be reset quickly without the hunt for a paper clip or pen. For the average owner /admin, if router is mounted up out of the way from inquisitive or malicious hands, unauthorized resets and tampering should not be a problem. For some reason, when opening the PDF provided on the mini CD, my 3rd-party firewall was tripped and it flagged the PDF as being the origin of the connection and blocked it. I thought this was odd for a PDF auto connecting to the Internet.
Overall Review: The TP-Link WDR3500 will serve the average consumer who's not looking to expand & provide wide area coverage via bridging APs or spanning; however, beware if you are nesting or bridging APs & network coverage as you will have to be somewhat creative /w options & arrangements on order of devices. Having the Wi-Fi on/off provides a much simpler way of hiding or turning the Wireless radio on & off, as opposed to either not broadcasting the SSID or actually disabling the radio via the web interface on outer, but as a con that leaves the switches susceptible to being tampered /w, since they aren't recessed like most switches are (i.e. kids, office workers or the occasional dust cloth on the back of the router :-) . Notice & tracked that TP-Link used netsh.exe scripting command to work a lot of the behind-the-scenes magic, but more experienced users may want to forgo the automation & set up some of the router adlib. For the average user just shopping for a router, using the automated solutions provided should provide an adequate solution. I performed file transfer of 497MB from SD card on the router via USB port using the following methods & saw the following results: (Wired) 100Mb Ethernet LAN took 60 seconds @ 8.283MB /sec. (Wi-Fi-) 300N took 292 seconds @ 1.702MB /sec @300N/300 sustained TX/RX rate, 54G 232 seconds @ 2.142MB /sec @54G/54 sustained TX/RX rate, 11B 754 seconds @ 0.659 /sec @11/11 sustained TX/TX rate. I noted that Wi-Fi performance was best at 54G while a/b/g/n were enabled. With dedicated N turned on using only the 5GHz & 300N, there was a 50.5% performance gain resulting in transfer of 479MB taking 194 seconds @ 2.561MB /sec using 300N/300 sustained TX/RX rate. In order to gain the best 300N transfer rate I had to shut down the dual band options, which is fine unless not every device has N capability, defeating the point of having dual band. Personally I was disappointed /w the 300N performance as at best the 300N only offered a 0.419MB advantage over 54G even /w 4 feet direct line of site from external USB wireless to TP-Link WDR3500 AP/Router. Modernistic look, its sleek black decor would match well with any PS3 design, this could be a pro or con, but like the PS3, it is a finger print magnet and looks as if it exhibits dust just well. I would have preferred a matte finish option, inverse to its current one, as opposed to shinny, as it would hide prints and dust as well as the wear and tear of life. The WDR3500 has good 54G support as well as USB File & Print options but a high-speed transfer demon it is not & the N support fell short of my expectations. For generic wireless TP-Link WDR3500 AP/router will perform but for those wanting or needing LAN features & better through-put I would look to the next few versions up on TP-Link's totem or if you are needing to stick in the price range I would comparative shop & see if there is something that will cover the weak spots stated in this review.
Pros: Have had really no performance issues with these ( bought 2 for side-by-side on mount on VESA compliant monitor arm for desktop). Picture bright adjustable and no dead pixels, sound is so-so but having 2 HDMI on each one is great and gives options. Monitor VESA mount holes are up to spec with no alignment issues. These are my 2nd and 3rd Vizio products and I have had outstanding performance so far for the price with this brand. Lucky perhaps ? Meanwhile I am enjoying it while it is lasting.
Cons: Down side, power buttons are touch sensitive ( like PS3 ) and are on the front edge of the monitor. Sometimes when adjusting height of monitors or tilt they are in inadvertently pressed. Also I am planning on turning these into multi-touch monitors so the button placement needs some working consideration on bezel placement as not to obstruct the power and buttons.
Overall Review: Update ---- It's 2022 and these things STILL ROCK. For a referb on two monitors I'm beyond impressed. Lots of usage and still working without a flaw. Vizio team, thanks for rocking these two referbs from NE, also another Vizio purchase else where , 42" Vizio TV still working and it's even older, just a finicky power switch on it but I'm seeing in general Vizio is made well from what I have. Kudos.
Wors piece or trash I've seen at $100
Pros: Looks nice. Cooled okay Worked well for a short while, until it sprayed a leak. Had software for it but we didn't get far enough into testing to be able to use it before the failure. (Less than 2 months)
Cons: Expensive. Low quality, and a good reason to stick with Koolance products. Danger to your system when it leaks, not if.. A real pain to clean up if you are lucky enough to catch it. I'd be shipping it back to Corsair for a refund if it weren't for the rebate,which I am SILL waiting on, should have known better. Corsair should stick to what they do best, and it isn't making water cooling solutions.
Overall Review: We'll see how things go when a new solution arrives. Corsair may be looking at 64GB replacement ram, I7 6 core and the usual $300-400 motherboard. First came a hissing sound, next thing I'm going is scrambling for the power cord. the connection at CPU water block just sprayed all over the motherboard CPU and ram. All in all for us, this rates at an Epic FAIL.for equipment.
Drive is showing some oddities over time
Pros: The size of the drive is a nice offering for archives and backups. The drive runs cool and very quiet. The drive responds well to hot-swapping on SATA as well as SAS interfaces
Cons: Over time I have noticed this dive growing slower and slower to the point that it seems that backups stand still. I am not running this drive as part of a RAID set but as a standalone drive on a raid connection. While other WD Blue and Blacks show their full speeds this drive for some reason is reading 1.5. The drive is in it's native format as shipped and has no jumpers installed so it should be operating and registering at full speed. I've since moved it to a SAS connection and and have seen slight increase of transfer rate but nowhere near SATA II or III rates. The slowdown and halts are intermittent still with this drive. The drive still registers in BIOS as well as disk Management in Win 7 64 bit as well as AMD RAID and Promise RAID monitoring but is still reading as 1.5 , SATA I. Odd at best but still functional albeit inexplicably slow and has been faster in the past when tested.
Overall Review: Continuing to monitor and review this product to determine why there seems to be a performance hits even with latest SATA/SAS controller software and Drivers while configured as a straight non RAID standalone drive.
Good while it's lasting
Pros: Intel 520 series drives are generally fast no issues yet and come with a 5yr warranty, however pay close attention to what Intel has done to it's customers now. Compare to N82E16820167093 and check Intel's website regarding warranty to make sure it's what you want.
Cons: It seems that Intel is now hiding behind a wear-out clause for OEMs that they conveniently determine themselves. I will say that at this time I have no issues with my current drive but I do have issue with Intel. At the time I purchases the 120GB version of the 520 drive from NE it had no conditions or exceptions shown on it and still doesn't. See N82E16820167093 I can't but wonder what the customer is going to do when the drive faults and writes E9 status in less than 90 days and Intel says the warranty's up regardless of the 5 year stated parts and labor. On this point I'd take my chances with Hitachi DeathStars... -The short resolution: don't buy OEM from Intel if you want the 5 year, but still read their coverage policy on the Intel site before making the jump. Companies like BFG, EVGA, IBM, Compaq and Tandy have all dared to play the Warranty Shuffle Game with their customers. Few have lived through the backlash and managed to stay in business. They either learn from the mistake or closed down all consumer marketing and go corporate only if not just roll over and die with what money left over. Let's hope Intel learns to be more careful in it's offerings without having to remove much egg foo young from face. It appears that Intel has done something similar here. They've implemented a limitation to the 5 year warranty. One can see Intel is making noises contrary to what the initial offering was due to the unforeseen / seemingly unexpected use of their product. All because it may be used in a server OS environment ? Intel should modify the warranty to say; If said device is used in any RAID or server environments / configurations; the 5 year warranty doesn't apply and a 2 year warranty shall then be in effect.
Overall Review: After reading this notice regarding limitation of 5 year coverage, my fellow Game Warriors, Admins and Devs, I will error in the side of caution when it comes to a CPU and Network chipset giant trying to break into the Data peripherals market. As I want to save buyers / owners, of this wonderful piece of equipment thus far, a potential pitfall and rude awakening of ownership should the need arise to have to actual USE warranty coverage on your purchase. In this case a NE offering of extended warranty *MAY* be a good choice since Intel has limitation implied on OEM. For a standard windows 7 / 8 GO FOR IT it but we warned about the warranty "cache" ;-)