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Christopher R.

Christopher R.

Joined on 07/14/06

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Most Favorable Review

Best home server I could have asked for!

Intel NUC 10 BXNUC10i7FNHN1 Mini / Booksize Barebone System - Intel Core i7-10710U CPU Installed -  Tall
Intel NUC 10 BXNUC10i7FNHN1 Mini / Booksize Barebone System - Intel Core i7-10710U CPU Installed - Tall

Overall Review: I'm extremely pleased with this NUC. I bought this as an upgrade / replacement for my Plex Media Server. For the OS I have it running Rocky Linux (replacement for CentOS / RHEL). It works great with Linux! This NUC handles multiple simultaneous transcodes like a walk in the park. Even transcoding videos from 4K down to 1080p or 720p doesn't take the CPU percentage past the single digits. The integrated GPU does a great job. Overall, I've been amazed by the performance. Through all my load testing I havent been able to make the CPU hurt at all. I installed 32 gigs of RAM in it. That allowed me to configure Plex to easily handle all the transcoding in memory while leaving plenty of overheard for other stuff. I also installed a Samsung M.2 1 TB drive for the OS boot disk and installed software. Ive included a picture to show how it looks in my setup. Four Raspberry Pis in the homes network junction box on the left, and two x86 computers on the right (arrow points to the new NUC). Two USB 3.0 8 TB drives on the far right hold all the media and backups. Theyre both plugged directly into the NUC. I also have a TV Tuner plugged directly into the NUC, which Plex uses for live TV / DVR off the antenna on my roof. Im sure it would work as a great Windows desktop too, but thats not what I bought it for.

Most Critical Review

Disappointing

TRENDnet TEW-638APB N300 Wireless Access Point
TRENDnet TEW-638APB N300 Wireless Access Point

Pros: When it works it provides me with the speed I need. I do get about 100 Mbps, which is the max this product can do since it is only a 100 Mbps wired connection to your switch or router.

Cons: I will never buy another Trendnet product. It will suddenly stop working, and essentially lock up. I've read similar complaints on other web sites as well concerning this product. I've checked the Trendnet web site numerous times to see if a firmware update addresses this issue, but no updates have been released. When it stops responding I can still ping the device from a wired connection, but the web page will not respond, and no device in the house can access wireless. The only way to get it working again is to pull the power cord out of the back and do a cold reboot on it. I have to do this every few days, which is very annoying. I have a Blu-Ray player with built in wireless, so I often stream Netflix movies. It's extremely irritating being in the middle of a movie, and suddenly having the Blu Ray player loose the connection, and have to go upstairs to reboot the access point to get it working again.

Overall Review: I've had this product for almost a year, and I've come back to write this review now to help others avoid it. I wish I had spent a little more money and gotten a D-Link or Linksys. You get what you pay for.

Great Product!

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B 1GB Project Board, 83-17300
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B 1GB Project Board, 83-17300

Pros: This is definitely an improvement over the Pi 2 as far as speed goes. I have two Pi's, which I use as our home's servers. This Raspberry Pi 3 I run as a Minecraft server (running spigotmc). With the Pi 2 Minecraft was playable, but lag and slowness were a frequent issue. On the Pi 3 it runs smooth, and just as well as it did off a x86 server. The fact that it runs on very little electricity is amazing (typically less than 3 watts). I keep mine running 24x7, and their up times have been as high as 180 days. They would be longer if it weren't for me periodically rebooting them or power outages. That says something about the quality of this product, and of course the stability of Debian Linux (Raspbian). Just be aware the Pi may be a big learning curve for some. I have an advantage in that I work with Linux daily in my job as a Linux Administrator. I've heard complaints from others these were too complicated for them.

Cons: None that I can think of. Just be aware these are slow by PC standards, but many applications don't need a lot of speed to work well. You have to know what you're going to be using it for.

Overall Review: The 1 gig of RAM is now the main bottleneck I run into. I have to run two Raspberry Pi's because the RAM isn't enough for everything I run. Just be aware of this. Hopefully the next generation of Pi's will have more RAM. This isn't really a flaw though, just a personal observation.

No Windows 7 Support

TRENDnet TEG-PCITXR Gigabit Network Adapter 10/100/1000Mbps PCI 1 x RJ45
TRENDnet TEG-PCITXR Gigabit Network Adapter 10/100/1000Mbps PCI 1 x RJ45

Pros: Windows 7 RC. It kind of sucks they don't at least have a beta driver out on their web site. I bought this card specifically for a Windows 7 machine. I know Windows 7 isn't officially out yet, but considering it's so close to release there should be a driver.

Cons: No Win7 support.

Overall Review: Next time I'll spend a little more money and stick with the bigger brand cards, at least then you know the change of driver support will be better.