Consumer Reviews
by Adam Armstrong

QNAP TS-451 NAS Review

The QNAP TS-451 NAS is a high performance NAS for small offices and personal use. It comes with a 2.41GHz dual core Intel Celeron processor, 1GB of DDR3L RAM (expandable up to 8GB), up to 20TB of capacity (5TB HDD x 4), and all kinds of connectivity including two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two LAN Gigabit ports, and something a little different for NASs, an HDMI port. The NAS runs QNAP's latest OS for their NAS line, QTS 4.1. The device supports multiple platforms (Windows, Mac, and Linux/UNIX) and allows cross-platform file sharing and can be remotely accessed from multiple devices. The TS-451 boasts speeds of 224MB/s sequential read and 216MB/s sequential write while posting encryption speeds of 68MB/s both sequential read and write.

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by Lyle Smith

WD My Passport Wireless Review

WD has released the My Passport Wireless today, the newest addition to the company’s vast portfolio of portable external hard drives and their first wireless storage solution to hit the market. Like all drives of its kind, the My Passport Wireless is ideal for the traveling business person or the creative professional working in the field, as it gives users the ability to transfer files from computers, tablets, and smartphones to the My Passport Wireless without the need of cables or an Internet connection.  

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by Adam Armstrong

Synology DS415play NAS Review

The Synology DS415play is a 4-bay NAS for the media enthusiast. Like its smaller sister, the DS214play, the DS415play comes with video transcoding, that allows users to convert media files to usable extensions. The DS415play looks almost identical to the DS414 but it comes with a total capacity of 24TB, an Intel Atom dual core 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of DDR3 RAM, and plenty of external ports, three USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0, to connect and power multiple peripheral devices at the same time. The DS415play has four hot-swappable, tool-less drive bays accessed through the front of the device. And the DS415play uses Synology’s award winning DiskStation Manager OS.

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by Lyle Smith

AMD Radeon R7 Series SSD Review

The AMD Radeon R7 Series a high-performance SSD designed for enthusiasts who want the most out of their computers. The drive isn't exactly a new offering from the ground up though, it's made and manufactured by OCZ, and leverages their Barefoot controller and parent Toshiba's MLC NAND. While AMD has a pretty complete PC portfolio including CPUs, GPUs and memory, they don't have a storage component. That said, this is an intriguing route to take by AMD, as entering the already saturated SSD market is a risky endeavor. Even with a pre-made drive from OCZ, it will be interesting to see how well the AMD brand travels to storage, with so many other options available. The Radeon R7 Series does hit all the key spec sheet buttons though, with excellent throughput endurance of 30GB per day and a warranty of 4 years. Of course gamers have also come to love AMD's Radeon line which should give the AMD SSD a better starting point than most other new entrants.

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by Tucker Mindrum

Seagate NAS (2-bay) Review

The Seagate 2-bay NAS, along with the recently reviewed 4-bay configuration, is part of Seagate's latest NAS line release. The Seagate NAS line is aimed at small or home offices without dedicated IT resources. It includes a Marvell 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of DDR3 RAM, and ships with Seagate NAS HDDs for a maximum capacity of 10TB (users can choose to receive their NAS drive-less or equipped with two 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, or 5TB drives). All hardware, software, and drives are made by Seagate allowing all parts of the NAS to work together seamlessly. Unlike its larger sibling, the 2-bay NAS only has a few RAID options (RAID0 and RAID1, with a JBOD option) but comes preconfigured to save setup time but users can change the configuration through SimpleRAID technology built into the OS. 

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by Tucker Mindrum

WD Red Review (6TB, NASware 3.0)

WD was first to market with a duty-specific NAS drive when they launched the Red family over two years ago. They're now onto the third iteration of the 3.5" drive (we previously review the WD Red Pro), which includes an updated firmware, NASware 3.0, and new larger 5TB and 6TB capacities. The top end 6TB drive of course offers a 50% bump over the previous largest Red and is now the largest NAS HDD on the market as of this review. As part of this release, WD is also supporting 8-bay NAS units with the Reds, up from a recommended 5-bays in the prior generation, creating a grand total of up to 48TB raw within a single NAS unit. That's a massive amount of data and thus good news for small offices or those with ever-expanding media collections that need to be able to keep up with their data growth. 

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by Lyle Smith

OCZ ARC 100 SSD Review

OCZ ARC 100 Series SSDs are designed for mainstream consumers who want the benefits of flash storage without a big price tag; the ARC 100 gives consumers an aggressive suggested price point of .50/GB. Of course as the SSDs get into retail, pricing will fall even further. OCZ doesn't cut corners though with the ARC 100, part of the pricing power is due to the vertical integration with parent company Toshiba. Jointly they own all of the core components in the drive, including the controller and Toshiba MLC NAND. The ARC 100 offers a good endurance profile, supporting 20GB of writes per day (same as the Vertex 3) and the drives come with a three-year warranty.

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by Adam Armstrong

Seagate NAS (4-bay) Review

The Seagate NAS line is a 2 or 4-bay NAS designed for SOHO users and small businesses without dedicated IT resources. The Seagate NAS comes with a Marvell 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of DDR3 ram, and can run up to 20TB in capacity. The NAS also comes with Seagate’s new operating system, NAS OS 4 and ships with Seagate 5TB NAS HDDs. Having all of the software, hardware, and drives made by Seagate enables the system to work together seamlessly. The NAS come preconfigured to save setup time but users can change the configuration through SimpleRAID technology built into the OS.

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by Tucker Mindrum

Corsair Flash Voyager GTX USB Flash Drive Review

Corsair has recently released the Flash Voyager GTX flash drive, which is optimized for speed and hailed as their fastest USB drive yet (with reported transfer speeds approaching 450MB/s read and 350MB/s write). Corsair designed this flash drive for professionals in mind, but casual users too can revel in the high-speed transfer of large data collections like operating system images, game installs, video and music production projects, and large media libraries.

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by Lyle Smith

Intel Pro 2500 SSD Review

Intel Pro 2500 Series are SSDs designed largely for enterprise client solutions (desktops, notebooks) that require reliability, power-efficient performance, enhanced data security, and remote manageability. While the Intel 730 SSDs are catered towards enthusiasts and the Intel 530's demographic is more mainstream consumer, the Pro 2500 series (and the Pro 1500 Series before it) are specifically architected for businesses who need to deploy a large number of drives into their organization. Intel's new Pro 2500 Series features quoted throughput up to 540MB/s and a random IOPs up to 80,000, all the while offering low-power modes to extend battery life and improve the mobility of the drives. For example, when the new Pro 2500 Series SSDs are combined with the Intel Core vPro Platform, Intel states that power consumption can be reduced by substantially: from milliwatts to microwatts.

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