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Brian d.

Brian d.

Joined on 11/19/07

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Most Favorable Review

Great looks and functionality

Corsair Carbide Series 275R CC-9011133-WW White Steel / Plastic / Tempered Glass ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case
Corsair Carbide Series 275R CC-9011133-WW White Steel / Plastic / Tempered Glass ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case

Pros: An absolutely stunning case at a great price. 6 hard drive storage options (2 x 3.5”, 4 x 2.5” SSD or mechanical). Excellent cable management and PSU shroud. No drive bays in the front, so a complete view of all components is there. It is a very wide case, but not too wide, so it should accommodate many types of PC coolers. The secondary power connector for the motherboard is easily routable from the back side of the case. Dust filters on the top, bottom, and front (front and top are magnetic). Options to vertically mount your graphics card (optional PCI riser is needed). Will accommodate all major graphics card lengths. PSU shroud will accommodate all lengths of power supplies. Overall, it is just a great mid-range case.

Cons: While it is huge on the inside for a mid-case, it’s still a mid-case. So the more you cram into it, the tighter its going to get. There are no options for DVD drives or card readers, so keep that in mind. Only 2 3.5” HDD storage options.

Overall Review: My first impressions of the case were incredible and it only increased from there. This case not only looks great, but it is incredible functional and well thought out. It really solves all the other issues I have faced with previous mid tower cases that use the same style (psu shroud/component display). The issue of feeding the 8-pin power cable from the back of the case was always a challenge. Corsair made huge holes in those areas to allow that process to be easy and effortless, a huge plus for me. Top mounted 240mm radiators most of the time caused issues with contact with the motherboard/heatsinks in mid cases. In this case, corsair moved the mounts closer to the tempered glass in an effort to alleviate that as much as possible. The removal of the drive cages in the front really open air flow up and allow a bigger view of components. The HDD cage at the bottom can be removed to allow any size of PSU to be used, although it will fit most PSU’s with the HDD cage installed. For those worried about large 2.5” HDD’s mounting on the back, the two spots to the left will accommodate large 12.5mm 2.5” HDD’s. Cooling options are abundant in this case. 2 x 120’s on the top. You could also do a 120 and a 140 on the top. 3 x 120’s in the front or 2 x 140’s. Personally, I think this would be a perfect case for a 360mm radiator in the front as it will help fill out the void in the front of the case and this case will really highlight it. Anything will look good here, but a front mounted 360mm will really stand out. A 280mm will also mount in the front and a 240mm radiator will mount up top. Overall, this is wonderful mid-size case. It offers tons of options mixed with value and class. It screams expensive while being affordable. It also offers an incredible amount of install options and can accommodate so many different kinds of builds. The only negative I can find with this case are those who use a lot of 3.5” HDD’s or need 5.25” drive bays. Outside of that, I love it and it is a home run in my book. Kudos to Corsair for taking all the small things into consideration on this and making a great mid-tower at a great price. A home run on looks and functionality.

Most Critical Review

The Good the Bad and the DOA

Belkin WeMo F5Z0489 WiFi Enabled LED Lighting Starter Set
Belkin WeMo F5Z0489 WiFi Enabled LED Lighting Starter Set

Pros: Good build quality for the bulbs and the base station. Ability to schedule start and stop times and even pair it with other WEMO devices to further expand options for using it. A very good bulb for lighting, at its core it should at least be a good lightbulb and it is. Good packaging.

Cons: Ohhh man where do I start. One of the bulbs failed to connect, thus turning it into a normal LED bulb. Tons of connection issues with the one bulb that did work. Range is terrible. I had to get it within about 10’ of the bulb before it would connect consistently.

Overall Review: So let’s talk about the good points first. After all the attempts to finally get one connected and working, I was very pleased with the outcome I had. I had a need at my front door that this kit fixed like a charm. I needed to have a light on pretty much all night so I could enter the house and get my key in the door, also to provide some lighting on the house. Before I used to just leave a bulb on all day and I really didn’t want to. With this kit I was able set the time that I wanted it to come on and go off, and I was able to dim the bulb (on a non-dimmer switch) from the app to get the right lighting that I wanted. This worked out wonderful for me. Also with the option to pair this with a motion sensor or IFTTT it could fill so many more roles. Also the sleep timer is nice as well, basically if you’re ready to go to bed you can tell it to go off in X minutes (up to 60). The build quality is good but not as good as other LED bulbs I already own. Now for the bad side of the product. So the first thing I did was pull out the instructions to make sure I didn’t miss a step. I grabbed one bulb out of the box and installed it where I planned on it being (front door). And then set the base station up centrally in the home as recommended. At this point the base station is about 20 feet from the base station and has one wall between it and the bulb. After several attempts to complete the setup and failing I grabbed the second bulb from the box and plug it into a light about 5 feet from the base station and it recognized it right away. So I then proceeded to complete the setup on the second bulb. After setting the lighting schedule for the bulb (I had to redo it twice from it failing to save the settings, on the third time it stuck) I then replaced the first bulb with the one that I configured at the front door and it would not connect back, just like the first. So I moved the base station within about 10 to 12 feet from the bulb and it picked back up. For the first little bit the light was on I had a few connection drops but after about 30 min it leveled off. Then after several attempts of testing the first bulb I found it to be defective and would only function as a regular LED light. Overall with the issues on the app/connectivity side and 1 of the 2 bulbs DOA I would not recommend this product in its current state. Once the bugs get worked out and QC sends working bulbs I would say this would be a great product.

Great overall price/performance

Crucial P3 2TB PCIe 3.0 3D NAND NVMe M.2 SSD, up to 3500MB/s - CT2000P3SSD8
Crucial P3 2TB PCIe 3.0 3D NAND NVMe M.2 SSD, up to 3500MB/s - CT2000P3SSD8

Pros: Good price Good performance Good brand Packaging and presentation

Cons: None

Overall Review: Crucial has always been my go to for getting the best bang for my buck. This product is pretty much right in line with that. In the attached photo, you can see it compared to my 4 year old 960. IMO it pretty much beats it overall. However, it is pretty close. Why is that not terrible, by almost breaking even with a 4 year old drive? It goes back to getting the most value out of the purchase. This is one heck of a drive for around $150. For the space, performance, reliability, you almost cant beat it. I checked all the drives for sale in that price point, and this would be my go to for sure. If I was looking to get every last bit of performance out of it, I would either look into a more advanced Crucial drive, or get a Samsung. But, for what most people need this is the drive. The best combination of reliability/brand trust, performance, price, size.

Outstanding Powerline Adapters

devolo Magic 2 LAN triple Starter Kit
devolo Magic 2 LAN triple Starter Kit

Pros: By far the best powerline units I have used. Ive used the units for about a month now and never had a problem. Ive moved them around the house and have always had great connection speed. The units worked right out of the box, it could not have been easier. One of the biggest reasons to purchase these are the speeds you can get. I have used several different kinds of powerline adapter and these are by far the fastest. However, these are still a use case product. I would still rather use WIFI over these units under regular circumstances. If I had a (or couple) of Ethernet only devices, and you dont want to mess with WIFI adapters or running cables, these are a fantastic option. I would still take a solid Ethernet run or a solid WIFI router over these, but if those two options are not available, these are the best units ive used. The multiple Ethernet ports are great. Once again, they all worked right out of the box. It really was a breeze. Right out of the box, each machine got an IP and was online. No additional configuring.

Cons: I really could only find two things that bothered me a little. The first was the size. These things are rather big. Other powerline offerings are a lot smaller, however they are slower and only offer a single Ethernet out. So, you get what you get in that respect. Along those same lines is the fact that it does get hot. The units are warm to the touch while in use. Once again, I am ok with this because I never noticed that causing an issue with performance, and due to their performance you would tend to expect them to run a little hot.

Overall Review: Overall these performed way above my expectations. I am able to pull around 100mbps down at my house with my local internet. Corded, on WIFI, or using these, I was able to pull that 100mbps down on all three connection types. Honestly, I really didnt notice any difference in using these units vs. using WIFI or Ethernet. I gamed on them and notice no issues. From my experience, they are rock solid. I would highly recommend these to anyone looking for the best available powerline adapters. They really have been the best ones ive used. However, if I was just needing an active Ethernet cable for a device that didnt need a ton of bandwidth, I might grab one that is a little cheaper and smaller. That being said, these do offer 3 Ethernet out ports, and that is something awesome. Overall a 9/10 easily and the only reason it was not a 10/10 was because of their size.

Excellent ram and no clearance issues

CORSAIR Vengeance RGB RS 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model CMG16GX4M2E3200C16
CORSAIR Vengeance RGB RS 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model CMG16GX4M2E3200C16

Pros: Completely customizable lighting scheme. Adjustable brightness. Solid color distribution. Solid performance. Extremely well build and has a quality feel.

Cons: Absolutely none to speak of. They clocked perfectly out of the box and performed very well. However they are a little bulky if that was to bother you.

Overall Review: In my personal opinion these are the perfect ram sticks if you are looking for a lighted option. The build quality is top notch and the overall appearance of the sticks are great. They look fantastic in a glass case and are really a nice addition to any machine. One thing that I really noticed was how uniformly the color is dispersed through the sticks. There were no hot spots or cool spots on the sticks in regards to color. Some of the custom lighting options really shine when 4 sticks are used together. That would be my only recommendation is that if you wanted to take full advantage of the lighting, you should use 4 sticks in your board. Overall, these are fantastic sticks if you are doing a RGB build. Fully customizable and tunable to get that perfect color matching option. They really are of a great build quality and really feel premium. I would highly recommend them.

11/10/2021

Great Air Purifier for the house or the office

Rosewill True HEPA Large Room Air Purifier for Home or Office, Removes Dust, Pet Dander, Smoke, Pollen & Odor, 3 Wind Speeds, UV Light, Digital Control Panel, LED Display, 8-Hour Timer - (RHAP-20001)
Rosewill True HEPA Large Room Air Purifier for Home or Office, Removes Dust, Pet Dander, Smoke, Pollen & Odor, 3 Wind Speeds, UV Light, Digital Control Panel, LED Display, 8-Hour Timer - (RHAP-20001)

Pros: Very quiet, good looking, optional lights, optional UV light, super easy to change HEPA filter, easy to read info screen.

Cons: its a little big, not massive, but you know its there and have to work around it.

Overall Review: Overall, I love this air purifier. I have used it in my office at work, and multiple rooms in my house. Under normal operation, the noise level is so low that it just blends in to ambient sound. If you raise up the fan speed, you can definitely know its there. I personally love how the LED lights on the top look. During the day it looks very nice. At night, in a small room, it can be a little bright. But a quick press of a button on the front, you can turn it off. The HEPA filter is super easy to remove and install. Also, the build quality of the filter is very good. Overall, I was very impressed with the filter process. The only real issue I have with the unit is the lack of documentation in regards to the numbers it displays on the screen, and the colors it has on top. Its clear that the numbers represent how good or bad the air quality is, and its clear that the colors at the top correlate with that. However, I would have liked some documentation that actually gave a quick chart on what you should target (number wise). Overall, I would highly recommend this unit, and would purchase additional units.