Consumer Reviews
by Lyle Smith

Samsung SM951-NVMe M.2 SSD Review

Designed for ultra-slim notebook PCs and workstations, the Samsung SM951-NVMe is the industry’s first M.2 NVMe PCIe to hit the market. Samsung has been offering an AHCI-based PCIe 3.0 version of its SM951 line for several months now. With this new highly-anticipated NVMe edition, Samsung is adding a powerful and welcomed drive to its quality SSD portfolio all the while reinforcing its dominance in the flash memory market. Samsung also has indicated that it will be incorporating its 3D V-NAND technology into the SM951-NVMe sometime in the future, which will further increase the drive’s density as well as help it to boast even better performance.

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by Tucker Mindrum

Icy Dock ToughArmor Series Backplane Cage for 5.25" Bay

The backplane cage from Icy Dock, which is part of their new ToughArmor Series, allows up to eight 2.5” SSD or HDD drives (up to 7mm height) to be consolidated into one 5.25” bay. This product aims to save space, reduce workspace clutter, and provide a reliable means of building a workstation or compact server. It would be best used in a gaming rig, home server, HTPC, or any non-RAID JBOD storage setting. Icy Dock has equipped this device with Medical & Military standard housing, promising to protect drives and maintain function through a wide range of environments.

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by Tucker Mindrum

Lexar JumpDrive P20 USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Lexar recently announced updates to several of its JumpDrive line, including replacing its P10 drives with a faster, higher capacity P20 drives. The P20 is built for speed, and certainly delivers with reported transfer rates of 400MB/s read and 270MB/s write. Lexar estimates that a full HD movie transfers in about 40 seconds. It predecessor, the Lexar P10, was one of the fastest flash drives available at the time of its release, as is the P20. Its impressive boost in performance coupled with modern capacity standards (available in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB) makes the P20 line well equipped to serve media enthusiasts and professionals.

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by Lyle Smith

Samsung SM951 PCIe M.2 SSD Review

The Samsung SM951 M.2 is a high-performance, low-powered PCIe SSD that is designed for use in both ultra-slim notebook PCs and workstations. The SM951 is very similar to the HP Z Turbo drive that we reviewed inside the HP Z620 in both specifications and performance, which offered twice the performance of standard high-performance SSDs all at a similar price tag. Since this impressive debut, consumers have been asking for this drive to hit the market, so the recent release of Samsung SM951 M.2 PCIe SSD is a huge deal for many, including here at StorageReview. That being said, consumers will have to pay a premium if they want to reap the benefits of this impressive drive. To avoid confusion, we are reviewing the AHCI version of the SM951 not the soon to be released NVMe version.

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by Lyle Smith

Netgear CM500 Cable Modem Review

The Netgear CM500 is a high-speed cable modem that is certified for DOCSIS 3.0 to work with providers such as Comcast XFINITY and Time Warner Cable as well as most major cable service providers.  Third party modems, such as the CM500, are becoming more and more popular as they offer customers various useful benefits, such as eliminating the monthly fee of renting/financing the provider’s modem, which can amount to roughly $10 a month in some areas. In addition, users get to choose a modem from a company with an established pedigree like Netgear instead of having to settle for what the ISP has to offer as well as the ability to have much more control over its functionality, including firmware updates, connection, and security features. Service providers often give lackluster support in this domain, which usually result in a ton of frustration for the customer. That being said, the Netgear CM500 is certainly designed to offer these perks in addition to its aesthetically pleasing design, the latter which allows users to place the device virtually anywhere versus hiding it in some closet.

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by Lyle Smith

Lexar Professional Workflow HR2 Review

The Lexar Professional Workflow HR2 is a four-bay reader and storage drive hub that uses both Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 connectivity, allowing for compatibility with both Windows and Mac OS platforms. We previously review its predecessor, Professional Workflow Reader, and were very impressed with its multi-card performance speeds and sturdy build. With the new Lexar hub, users can pick and choose from a variety of combinations of readers and storage drives to suit specific use cases and specialized workflows. The biggest advantage of Lexar’s Professional Workflow line is that users will be able to save time due to its ability to transfer and back up data from multiple cards at once, which allows professionals to quickly edit and share their files. Not only does the Professional Workflow HR2 offer quite a bit of flexibility, Lexar indicates that the hub provides the performance needed for high-speed transfer and backup of RAW images, high-res photos, and HD, 3D, and 4K video. In addition, the HR2 is also backwards compatible with Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 using the same cables and connectors.

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by Lyle Smith

Netstor TurboBox Thunderbolt 2 Review (NA211TB-LD)

Previously, we reviewed the Netstor TurboBox (NA211TB-LD) equipped with a Thunderbolt 1 connection and found it to be a good companion for creative professionals who need high performance storage in a portable form factor. The TurboBox itself is a very slick looking storage solution with three PCIe slots and four 2.5" bays that can handle SSDs or SAS/SATA HDDs. It also has a 250W power supply with plenty of ventilation located on both the front and back of the high-end aluminum enclosure. We recently upgraded the device with Netstor’s Thunderbolt 2 upgrades kit, which essentially doubles its throughput capabilities and as a result will allow for an even more efficient workflow for users. The upgrade process itself was quick and seamless and consisted of simply switching out the PCIe boards.

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by Adam Armstrong

Intel SSD 750 Review

The Intel 750 series is a high performance SSD with NVM Express technology for use in workstations and client PC storage devices. It is designed for improved multi-core platform performance, low latency and Quality of Service. Through the use of its coupled PCIe and NVMe technology, it minimizes idle processor time while delivering a significant improvement in compute power. The 750 series comes in both 2.5” (which uses the SFF-8639 connector), 15mm Z-height, and Add-in Card (AIC) models in order to maximize its usability for specialized environments. Although there are limited use cases for the NVMe 2.5" form factor at the moment, there are systems coming out for client use that support it as the next generation of high performance storage where PCIe cards may be limited by footprint.

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by Lyle Smith

Samsung 850 EVO M.2 SSD Review

Like the mSATA model, the Samsung 850 EVO M.2 is very similar to its impressive 2.5 inch brethren; however, it has the added benefit of not being limited by mSATA’s legacy architecture. Another advantage of the M.2 form factor is that it comprised of a much smaller footprint compared to traditional SSD sizes, all without having to sacrifice capacity. Its unique thin and light form factor also allows the tiny storage solution to be deployed in wide range of use cases, everything from the most recent Ultrabooks that require high performance, to the lastest tablets.

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by Lyle Smith

Samsung 850 EVO mSATA SSD Review

The Samsung 850 EVO mSATA is pretty much identical to the previously reviewed 2.5 inch 850 EVO, which proved to be an impressive SSD by offering bar-setting performance and fantastic endurance coupled with a competitive price point. As such, the mSATA version of Samsung’s newest SSD line features the same 3D V-NAND technology, enabling it to boast twice the endurance of a conventional 2D planar type NAND flash, and is designed to maximize everyday computing with an obvious focus on performance and reliability. The mSATA model is built for small form factor computing, embedded applications, and provides users with upgrading capability for ultra-thin PCs and desktops using an mSATA slot.

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