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Derek M.

Derek M.

Joined on 03/20/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 9
Most Favorable Review

Excellent for ZFS

Intel DC S3700 Series Taylorsville SSDSC2BA200G301 2.5" 200GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Intel DC S3700 Series Taylorsville SSDSC2BA200G301 2.5" 200GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Pros: Purchased this drive for use as a SLOG on an HDD-only ZFS RAIDZ array. Unfortunately, it's one of the few SSDs that's really able to support the use case without the possibility of data loss, due to the employment of power loss protection capacitors. But what an SSD! The individual drive specs are well-published elsewhere, so I won't repeat them here. But for use as a SLOG device, marvelous. After adding the SLOG, 4K random write over sync NFS, my throughput raised from around 2MB/s to around 30MB/s. Similar increases in throughput throughout the write range. I'm using the array as a VMware datastore, via sync NFS share. Prior to adding the SLOG, write operations in a VM were unbearably slow. Access times varied wildly, and maxed out in the 1-2s range. Now seeing access times averaging around 1ms (over 1Gbps ethernet) and spiking (rarely) around 12ms. Needless to say, I am very happy with the results.

Cons: None found so far.

Overall Review: Overall a much better choice than iSCSI or async NFS. The price is a bit steep, but I am happy I paid it. VMs are now extremely responsive, and consistent. Would be nice to see some other SSD makers put their focus on consistent performance and (!!!) power loss protection.

11/26/2013

It works

LSI LSI00410 0.6m Internal Cable SFF8643 to x4 SATA HDD (mini SAS HD to SATA data port)--Avago Technologies
LSI LSI00410 0.6m Internal Cable SFF8643 to x4 SATA HDD (mini SAS HD to SATA data port)--Avago Technologies

Pros: Works well with the new SAS3 HBA series from LSI. Note that this is the internal connector type. Length was fine for reaching inside an Antec P180 case. I like how thin the cable is. It is pretty stiff, but that's not really a problem.

Cons: None noticed.

11/26/2013

Good Once Driver Supported

LSI 9300-4i4e PCI-Express 3.0 SATA / SAS 4-Port Int, 4-Port Ext SAS3 12Gb/s HBA - Single--Avago Technologies
LSI 9300-4i4e PCI-Express 3.0 SATA / SAS 4-Port Int, 4-Port Ext SAS3 12Gb/s HBA - Single--Avago Technologies

Pros: I was able to easily install and verify working via the HBA's BIOS. Updated to the latest firmware and BIOS using the EFI console and files from LSI's support site. All SATA III drives were detected correctly (3 WD Reds and an Intel SSD) by the HBA BIOS. I installed the card on a Xeon box, intending for it to be used via passthrough in a ESXi virtualized environment (FreeBSD guest). The connected drives were available in ESXi, and in the guest OS when the RAID card was passed through.

Cons: Unfortunately, LSI has not released drivers for my guest OS, FreeBSD 9.1. I was able to compile the kernel with the drivers for FreeBSD 9.0 and connect to the drives successfully, however there were large numbers of errors in the system logs, so it is clearly not ready for prime time on that OS. FreeBSD 9.2 is out and considered production stable, so it is a little frustrating that LSI is so far behind in their driver development/validation process. No eggs taken off of the review, because my understanding is that those drivers are in works, and the supported versions are documented on the LSI driver download site. It took some digging, however, to find out that unlike previous LSI HBAs, the new SAS3 generation is not supported via FOSS drivers. More concerning is that they may not be for a long time due to a disagreement between the FOSS maintainers and the LSI developers.

Overall Review: Great product, paid the price for being an early adopter.

11/26/2013

excellent keyboard

Logitech diNovo Edge 2-Tone 84 Normal Keys 9 Function Keys Bluetooth Wireless Mini Keyboard
Logitech diNovo Edge 2-Tone 84 Normal Keys 9 Function Keys Bluetooth Wireless Mini Keyboard

Pros: Very precise, quiet keys. Very light and thin, easy to hold on my lap as I relax in the recliner - this keyboard is being used in conjunction with a Media Center PC. The integrated touchpad mouse works very well in this environment as I only need the one keyboard for total system control.

Cons: Collects fingerprints and dust like crazy - the price you pay for having such a beautiful glossy, smooth surface. Not really a con - a cleaning cloth is included.

Overall Review: The keyboard is like a piece of modern art sitting on my coffee table in the charging stand - definitely an attention grabber, yet subtle enough that it is beautiful and blends into my decor as well.

fast, easy, and effective

HighPoint RocketRAID 2300 PCI Express SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Card
HighPoint RocketRAID 2300 PCI Express SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Card

Pros: This product works very well. I have 2 x WD 250GB RE drives in a RAID 0 configuration that work very well now. Prior to purchasing this card, my integrated ATI SB600 RAID controller was *highly* unstable, and basically unusable. This card is almost transparent, has barely any CPU overhead, and is very full featured. Works very well with linux.

Cons: The linux drivers available on the website would not work for me, although I was using one of the distributions (openSuSe 10.2) supported with precompiled drivers. The floppy just wouldn't get loaded correctly for some reason. Not sure if this is a problem with HighPoint or with my floppy drive.

Overall Review: I simply extracted the linux driver update disk images with an MS Windows-based ext2 filesystem utility and burned them to CD and the drivers worked immediately. Plan on using this for 4 x 1TB RAID 5 once WD releases their next-generation drives.

I drooled. Seriously.

Antec Performance One P180 Silver cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Antec Performance One P180 Silver cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Comments: I purchased this case at a retailer near me, since they had the same price on sale (post-thanksgiving!) but without shipping costs. In any case (no pun intended) this case is by far the best case available today. Installation was intuitive, to say the least, and as an experience builder, I must say, I was thinking to myself "Why did nobody think of these things before?". This is the first case that felt organized and natural to put together - that I have EVER built. Perhaps not something for a first-time builder - it can be quite involved - but definitely the most competent case available. The small details, like a toolbox for screws, holders for the CD/DVD drive rails, and a removable dust filter - makes this case beyond the winner that it is. As everyone else has mentioned, this case is the quietest available - it muffles my super-loud hard drive and processor fan an incredible amount, while the included case fans (3) generate next to no noise. If I could, I would rate this case 6 stars. And as always, NewEgg shipping rocks (if I had done that as I have with every other item I buy).

11/26/2005