Joined on 12/29/05
Excellent read, so-so write on Buffalo non-RAID NAS
Pros: The Buffalo LinkStation 410 does exactly what it claims to do; I primarily tested it as a central media streaming server (DLNA and streaming movies to my HTPC) and file storage for my LAN and outside networks with no issues and a surprisingly easy setup. It does support BitTorrent and USB device server options as well. After opening up the web config and entering in a static IP, navigating through the menus and enabling whatever goodies you'd like was an easy task: Web access, DLNA server, BitTorrent server, or USB Device server. The 2TB drive installed in the LinkStation 410 is a Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001. Here on Newegg it has a rather high 23% 1-Egg rating. I would absolutely recommend, as this NAS is not RAID compatible, that you have a second copy of your data elsewhere. This NAS does not offer much in the way of data redundancy aside from a "Check Disk" option in the GUI to attempt repair of damaged sectors. Media server functionality worked without a hitch. A quick scan on my PS3 found the LinkStation (which you can set to a name of your choice in the web config -- e.g. "LinkStationNAS") and allowed access to the images, videos, etc. stored on it. Streaming Hi10P anime videos through the PS3, or from my Win 7 HTPC box through SMB, worked flawlessly... as you would expect after seeing these read/write figures: Gigabit network transfer rates: Read: 110-120MB/s (right at the peak throughput of gigabit speeds) Write: 39-42MB/s ^ These numbers will be reduced to the capacity of your Internet pipe when accessing them from outside the LAN. DLNA functionality was similarly easy to use; through my Denon AVR receiver I could pick up the LinkStation on the network and stream the music I stored on it through a 5.1 surround setup. Physically and mechanically, the device feels weighty and well-built. While it has an integrated fan, the small 40mm fan fortunately rarely needs to spin to keep the device cool; except for intensive I/O sessions the drive and hardware inside is cooled passively. It doesn't make a peep aside from the typical sounds a hard drive makes, slightly damped from the plastic enclosure muffling all but a tiny chatter during reads and writes. Using an IR thermometer, the hottest spot on the outer plastic casing came up to 41°C while the rest of the enclosure was around 35°C with a room temp of 74°F, which are just peachy temps really.
Cons: This is a single drive NAS with no RAID functionality. Any files you store on this NAS you will want to have another backup of elsewhere. You would think, "this shouldn't be a con, all single drive systems are inherently unreliable", but this one is particularily so if the reviews on the included Seagate drive are to be trusted. What's the standard IP address? It's set on DHCP so to get to the web config you will have to do some guessing as to which IP it may have grabbed once it's on your network. After you find it, set a static IP instead. The workaround is to use the included CD, but for people like myself who don't want to install extra unnecessary software on their PCs when they can accomplish a more customized result themselves, it may be worth the effort to find the IP yourself and skip the CD if you're comfortable with drive mapping and file sharing in the OS you're using.
Overall Review: I've found this NAS to be a great little device for sharing non-critical files inside and outside my LAN. It has an FTP functionality if you prefer as well. The web setup is simple to use (once you find the IP or install the software) and the unit is quiet enough that I can have it on my desk and forget it's there -- more than can be said for some larger (albeit more robust) NASes out there.
A flawed 8GB wi-fi capable jump drive.
Pros: It does what it says it does: loads music, video, and images to the integrated 8GB storage from your phone. However the way it does this is rather convoluted: you have to launch the Jak app from your smartphone, dig up the files you want, then tap the Transfer button to send them to the device. Once the files finish transferring, the device disconnects and reconnects to whatever it's plugged into with the new files loaded onto it. Real world use: Good idea in theory. I tried to use it to stream music to my car stereo's USB hookup. Great. Tapped the transfer button and the music started playing without needing to hook a wire up to my phone, so technically it does "work". However, this is where the pros ended.
Cons: I can't receive calls while the app is running, I can't use phone navigation while the app is running, and I can't do ANYTHING else while the app is running. Not only does it cut off your cell service, but once I press the "home" button on my Galaxy S3 it immediately halts music playback until I launch the program again. Biggest problem of all: ONCE YOU CLOSE THE JAK APP, THE JAK DELETES WHATEVER WAS STORED ON IT AND STOPS FUNCTIONING COMPLETELY. Why? Once I send 50 MP3s to it, I should be able to close the app on my phone and listen to the music I sent to it while still retaining phone service. This is basically forcing you to choose between music or phone calls. Again, why? The Jak is simply a flash drive you can send files to wirelessly. I've never even seen a flash drive that deletes everything stored on it when it's unplugged, let alone being dependent on some software running. Device gets very warm when in use, longevity questionable. All-plastic construction. Should have made some of the device out of aluminum to absorb heat.
Overall Review: If I'm going through the hassle of moving stuff from my PC to my Phone to the Jak, why wouldn't I just take the phone and Jak parts out of the equation completely and use a flash drive directly from my PC? Especially when the Jak ONLY works while the app is running on my phone. If they allowed the Jak to retain files after the app was closed things would be much better. Right now, not really a fan unless you never receive any phone calls.
THE best <60mm cooler I could find.
Pros: I own a Lian Li PC-Q02B -- an extremely tiny ITX case that's only 6" W x 8" D x 9 " H -- with a GTX 950 and undervolted i7-3770 crammed inside. Even with the undervolt, the Intel stock cooler couldn't keep up. I needed a new cooler that was <60mm in height to replace it. I decided on this cooler because, ✔ It cleared the PCI-E slot directly beside the CPU socket, cleared the RAM modules and cleared the power cords too ✔ It fit perfectly beneath the SFX power supply WITHOUT fighting it for air by simply flipping the BRONTES' fan upside down ✔ It's much cooler than the Intel 95w stock HSF while making much less noise (details below) even with the fan reversed ✔ The mounting bracket is extremely non-intrusive; literally fits ANY Intel or AMD motherboard and installs in a snap The BRONTES is literally the ONLY cooler I found that met all the above criteria. All the others were too tall, too wide, blocked the PCI-E slot, hit the RAM/PSU cables, etc. Mounting was easy and fast, with small mounting screws and grommets leaving plenty of space on the back and front of the motherboard. In the Witcher 3: - Intel stock copper cooler @ 3200RPM (very noisy) & 72°C - BRONTES cooler @ 1400RPM & 60°C In Prime95 (heavy synthetic load): - Intel @ 3700 RPM & 82°C - BRONTES @ 1800RPM & 67°C That is nothing short of amazing for my tiny ITX case. Not only is there a single 60mm intake fan for the entire case, but the Brontes also has to suck up the hot air from the GTX 950 to cool itself.
Cons: Absolutely zero. Why isn't Newegg selling this? Dear Newegg: sell these.
Overall Review: The performance of this cooler blew my mind. Sub 60mm height, 13-15°C drop in temps over the Intel cooler, small enough to fit ANY ITX motherboard, extremely quiet, and oh it's only 34 BUCKS!! Did I mention it's only 9mm taller than the Intel cooler? If you need a sub 60mm cooler for your ITX case, your list possibly couldn't be any shorter.
Swiss Army Knife of Mini PCs
Pros: This has all the connections your typical home user or office worker needs with "good enough" processing power and memory capacity. Feels significantly more snappy with an SSD than it should for this price. I've set up one so far at work and one at home to test them out before buying larger quantities. 3 year warranty! I've had to use it once on an Intel Celeron 847 NUC that didn't survive a power surge; replacement was here in a week. The other 8 NUCs of that type are still going strong after over a year.
Cons: I had the "powered on and POSTed once then never came back" problem some people have reported. I also had a problem with BSOD'ing loading Windows 7 on the same system. The problem was bad RAM in both cases. The 2GB stick I was using must have been in my spare parts pile for a reason; now it's in the trash. Swapped it out and it has been running for weeks now without issue.
Overall Review: Super quiet even in a silent room, great visual BIOS with fan control and temperature monitoring, this thing does everything I'll ever need or want it to. Attention Windows 7 Users: Will not work with a vanilla Windows 7 CD due to the lack of USB 2.0 ports. Keyboard/Mouse will not be detected by setup. I had to follow a guide to create a Win7 USB installation flash drive that loaded the USB 3.0 drivers before Windows setup and during installation. Search for "nuc5ppyh windows 7 installation" and click the first result for instructions on how to do this.
They work -- Watch the heatsinks
Pros: These work great. Don't worry about the brand name; it's more of a marketing thing. Team Group is much more popular overseas and focuses more of its energy in the China/Taiwan/Japan/etc. area. You know RAM is doing its job well when you forget what kind you installed nearly a year later.
Cons: The heatsinks are thin metal, held on only by one strip of tape on each side. I bought these November 2014 and since then one of the heatsinks was literally falling off. I had to attach a binder clip to both sticks (you know, those small black metal clips you use to hold stacks of paper together) to keep them on there for good.
Overall Review: They work great, but it sure wouldn't hurt to give the heatsinks a good firm squeeze to make sure they're stuck to the memory chips beneath them.
Fan is LOUD!!!
Pros: The card offers respectable gaming performance for the price. It worked when I received it.
Cons: The card IDLES at a whopping 2600 RPM! The 87mm fan idling at 2600 RPM makes a loud noise like a low powered hair dryer all the time and there is nothing that can be done to lower it further. For comparison, a new single-fan EVGA GTX 960 -- which consumes more power than this -- idles at only 1200 RPM. EVGA messed up. The fans they spec'd for these cards are way too powerful and spin at a ludicrous 6000 RPM at 100%. They lowered the fan down to the lowest possible voltage to try and tone down the ear-piercing noise it creates, but it was not nearly enough. Even when the card is under max load the fan does not spin up past the idle speed of 40% where it reaches 60°C. In other words, 40% fan speed is more airflow than this card needs at MAX LOAD, let alone IDLE. The first version of these cards did not use these fans. They used true low-noise PWM fans that were a perfect fit, but in subsequent "revisions" they clearly decided that a fan that was "good enough" was OK for them. Not impressed, EVGA. I don't care how budget you think this card is, it's not a GT 730 or GT 740. It's a GTX and it needs a quieter PWM fan.
Overall Review: A resistor won't fix the problem because if the voltage drops any lower the fan will not spin up. Not even a 10 ohm resistor works. A BIOS update won't fix the problem for the same reason. If you enjoy a quiet computer, STAY AWAY from this card!